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Soil Sample Results

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herofan

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I mentioned a while back that my brother took soil samples from our hay fields, and the results are in. It was taken to the fertilize supplier, and he estimated that with lime and all that it called for, it would cost around $4,000.

We usually spend around $1,000 on fertilizer. Here’s the thing; the field is Fescue and Orchard Grass, and it currently produces More than what we need in just one cutting in the spring. It has actually improved yield every year for the last several years.

It looks decent too. It’s not like it’s a wasteland of weeds and I’m struggling to produce what I need. It has a little broom sedge in the fall, a little more this year than usual, but usuLly not too bad. So, I don’t really see the need to spend 4K on it.

Does anyone agree or would you spend the $4,000?
 

kenny thomas

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I totally agree with soil tests. Up to you if you want full production on them. Can you divide the field and use part of it for grazing?
 

Texasmark

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I use the state ag. U. testing service, TAMU Extension Service Soil Testing Lab. They look at what you have and what you want to do. A plant needs so much of this and that to produce so much of the other. Different plants obviously have different requirements. It's listed per acre and in # per element . What's not there are the other elements that are over and above the basic 3 NPK that you need to replace periodically, but in small quantities. Americal Plant Food in Galena Park, Tx. is a supplier of such in one of their offerings. They have a www.

You can't keep taking from the soil. Somewhere along the line you have to give back. Course that comes in various colors, like plowing stubble for one, planting and turning in legumes for two.
 
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herofan

herofan

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Dave":22dseenc said:
TexasBred":22dseenc said:
$4,000 for what??

Yes, $4,000 for what? And on how many acres?

$4,000 for the fertilizer that contains the specific needs the soil sample suggests and lime. It’s 30 acres.
 

kenny thomas

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herofan":1gcatqb2 said:
Dave":1gcatqb2 said:
TexasBred":1gcatqb2 said:
$4,000 for what??

Yes, $4,000 for what? And on how many acres?

$4,000 for the fertilizer that contains the specific needs the soil sample suggests and lime. It’s 30 acres.
again
3 years ago I spent $176 an acre on some pasture. It produces great now. I just tested it again a couple weeks ago and it needs 80lb of P per acre. I will spread that soon.
 

BC

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herofan":3bmai57p said:
It looks decent too. It’s not like it’s a wasteland of weeds and I’m struggling to produce what I need. It has a little broom sedge in the fall, a little more this year than usual, but usuLly not too bad. So, I don’t really see the need to spend 4K on it.
I do not like to spend money unnecessarily, BUT your statement that the broomsedge is becoming more prominent is telling me your soil is not as healthy as you think. One of the indicators of low pH is an increase in broomsedge. You need to get your soil pH to between 6 and 7 (closer to 7 if you want good clover). Liming low pH soils is like you taking RollAids or Tums for an acid stomach. If your pH is down to around 5.2 you are losing about 35% of the fertilizer efficiency. It is there but the plants can not take it up because it is tied up.

The reason we fertilize to make hay is two fold. 1) to improve yield and 2) to replace what you cut bale and haul off to be fed somewhere else.
 

Banjo

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Maybe you should take a hay sample from that field and see if you have the same deficiency.
I can't say you should fertilize or not....I don't, but then I don't cut hay off my fields. But whether you make money or not spending 4k in fertilize, the fertilize plant will. We don't want them to go broke.....then what would we do.... :(
 

Banjo

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kenny thomas":3bpbw0r2 said:
herofan":3bpbw0r2 said:
Dave":3bpbw0r2 said:
Yes, $4,000 for what? And on how many acres?

$4,000 for the fertilizer that contains the specific needs the soil sample suggests and lime. It’s 30 acres.
again
3 years ago I spent $176 an acre on some pasture. It produces great now. I just tested it again a couple weeks ago and it needs 80lb of P per acre. I will spread that soon.[/quote]

That sounds like an oxymoron ......if after 3 years and $176/ac. it produces great now, why does it need more now?
Soil tests are somewhat like going to the doctor once or twice a year for a checkup when your not sick......they will find something wrong with you.....but to each his own.
 

Luckiamute

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Depending on what exactly your soil test results revealed, maybe considering spreading lime this year and fertilizing the following year. That way you are spreading out the costs. Lime usually can work for three years, maybe four, depending on what type is applied, your soil and how much moisture you receive. I usually get my highest yields on my grass hay fields the second year after I have limed and fertilized.
 

tom4018

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I usually use the soil test as a guide. For instance if it calls for 60 P and 100 K per acre, I will do those in proportion with what my budget allows along with the amount of nitrogen I think I need to get some growth. So if I can only afford about half what it calls for I do say 40-30-50.

On the broom sedge my place had tons of it years ago, got the PH up and lots of fertilizer and chicken litter later the only sedge I know of on the place is on a power line right of way. I probably go overboard as I would say I have $200 in each calf sold for pasture and hay fertilizer/litter. I would rather have the problem of too much grass than too little.
 

wbvs58

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I don't like having the people who sell the fertiliser telling me what I need from the soil test. I don't think there could be a bigger conflict of interest. If your pH is low I would lime it now and just add your Nitrogen in spring. Get the soil test analysis and make a judgement yourself if anything else looks urgent otherwise attend to them in the following year.

Ken
 

Lucky_P

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Soil tested about 45 acres this fall just prior to reseeding to thicken the stand; university soils lab did the analysis. Did not call for any lime... but pH is right on the line, and I'm seeing quite a lot of broomsedge in some of the paddocks. Didn't spread lime right now, but I think I'll probably have 2T/acre spread next spring, despite their recommendation. The sedge tells me that it needs it.
 

kenny thomas

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Banjo":tfvl2in3 said:
kenny thomas":tfvl2in3 said:
herofan":tfvl2in3 said:
$4,000 for the fertilizer that contains the specific needs the soil sample suggests and lime. It’s 30 acres.
again
3 years ago I spent $176 an acre on some pasture. It produces great now. I just tested it again a couple weeks ago and it needs 80lb of P per acre. I will spread that soon.[/quote]

That sounds like an oxymoron ......if after 3 years and $176/ac. it produces great now, why does it need more now?
Soil tests are somewhat like going to the doctor once or twice a year for a checkup when your not sick......they will find something wrong with you.....but to each his own.
Banjo, I understand your,thought. My thought is,that even though it,is producing good now if i add what's needed I can add even more production in the,future. I'm trying to achieve 1 cow per 2 acres and with that stockpile enough Fescue so I,can graze most of the winter. The expense of the,fertilize and,lime is offset by less hay expense.
 

ddd75

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4k in fert on 30 acres is an awful lot dumped at one time.

I'd lime it now and not put any fert on it until spring. then i'd only do 1/2 the rate they said.
 

tom4018

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ddd75":1p2nsouq said:
4k in fert on 30 acres is an awful lot dumped at one time.

I'd lime it now and not put any fert on it until spring. then i'd only do 1/2 the rate they said.

I have good luck putting P and K on in the fall. It helps to build the roots up.
 

Banjo

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kenny thomas":heqxr5tc said:
Banjo":heqxr5tc said:
again
3 years ago I spent $176 an acre on some pasture. It produces great now. I just tested it again a couple weeks ago and it needs 80lb of P per acre. I will spread that soon.[/quote]

That sounds like an oxymoron ......if after 3 years and $176/ac. it produces great now, why does it need more now?
Soil tests are somewhat like going to the doctor once or twice a year for a checkup when your not sick......they will find something wrong with you.....but to each his own.
Banjo, I understand your,thought. My thought is,that even though it,is producing good now if i add what's needed I can add even more production in the,future. I'm trying to achieve 1 cow per 2 acres and with that stockpile enough Fescue so I,can graze most of the winter. The expense of the,fertilize and,lime is offset by less hay expense.

I understand, as you say....just my thoughts only...don't bet the farm on it. :nod:
 
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herofan

herofan

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ddd75":1cebur2c said:
4k in fert on 30 acres is an awful lot dumped at one time.

I'd lime it now and not put any fert on it until spring. then i'd only do 1/2 the rate they said.

I was wondering about that. Maybe instead of putting the old standard of triple 19 I could put the mix they recommend, but just not enough to break the bank.

It’s never my intent to be contrary, but as someone mentioned, when one runs a test, they will always find something wrong.

I realize one has to put nutrients back, but I also realize that as long as I mow and put something, I’m not going to wake up one morning and it’s a barren wasteland just because I haven’t put the suggested mix on it. It’s always going to have grasss; at least that’s been my experience.

Even though some might say it’s silly to blindly put triple 19 on it for the last 3 or 4 years, it has gradually improved each year and has doubled its yield from a few years ago, so I don’t really feel like what I have done has been a waste.
 

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