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Competency Area 3: Soil Testing and Plant Tissue Analysis


Soil testing is the basis for P, K, Mg, B, and Zn recommendations.  Soil testing is used to determine nutrients already present in the soil.  This indicates what may be lacking, and therefore which should be supplemented through fertilizer or manure application.

Without locally applicable crop response data, a soil test is useless.  It is important to know how a specific crop in the area will respond to supplementation.  This reduces the risk of over- or under-applying nutrients.  Repeated soil tests, over time, generate historical data and trends that can be combined with yield data, allowing prediction and more accurate diagnoses in future years.