Tom Lutz, Wenona, Ill.
I used to take 8 samples on an 80-acre field, but now I’ve tripled the number of samples for more accuracy. I don’t have a lot of variation in my soils—I’ve only got three major soil types on the farm.
I like to keep my farming simple. But if I see a small area from the soil tests or the combine monitor that shows a need, we’ll try to map it out and pop more potash or phosphorus or whatever’s indicated on that area.
My soil testing and fertilizer application come from a local fertilizer co-op. I’m confident the man I work with there is taking enough samples from the right locations in the fields. He’s a farmer, too, and we can talk things over. We’re long-time customers—I’ve worked with him long enough to know he doesn’t try to push more fertilizer on anyone than is needed.