Winter, Winters, Winter!
Many of us have experienced a challenging winter. Travel difficulties, vortexes and a lot of snow have been topics of conversation at the conferences and trade shows. Dealers and consultants at the conferences are also referencing problems with taking soil samples last fall and are looking at spring soil sampling to bring their producer’s soil test data up-to-date for the coming season. They are also evaluating a move to late spring and early summer soil sampling to avoid the fall crunch of getting data back for fall fertilizer applications and in particular to avoid the weather effects on soil sampling they experienced last fall.
The use of current soil test data is on the minds of the crop advisors as they meet with clients to decide on a course of action for the upcoming growing season.
Conversations regarding fertility programs for the 2019 crop season hinge on dollars available for fertilizer applications. Soil sample results are an invaluable part of this planning process. They provide a framework for the most efficient choice and placement of the nutrients needed to maximize yields as advisors.
A newer topic that has come up at conferences, trade shows, and individual dealer meetings is the production of industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill included a Hemp Farm Act. The Act allows for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp and all of the uses available from the crop. Producers and dealers have attended meetings and conferences to gather information to understand market opportunities and planting approaches for industrial hemp.
I attended a regional US Hemp Conference held in Rochester Minnesota in February. The presentations at this conference centered on available markets, registering the acres intended for production and planting and harvest challenges and strategies. Discussions over lunch with producers and company representatives looking for producers to supply a crop to meet all the different uses for industrial hemp indicate a keen interest going into the growing season.
For this industry, Midwest Laboratories is currently offering a fertility recommendation based on a soil test and the analysis of industrial hemp stalks. We will keep an eye on future analytical needs.
The Upper Midwest
Even though most of the fields in the upper Midwest have varying amounts of snow cover at this time, we know that eventually, we will get to the 2019 growing season. Midwest Lablooksk forward to providing you with the in-season analytical services. PSNT and Plant tissue testing are around the corner and we want you to have the information you need to make strong agronomic decisions.
To learn about your agriculture testing options visit https://midwestlabs.com/our-industries/agriculture/soil-testing/