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Whether they are growing corn, alfalfa, or soybeans, farmers need regular soil testing in Vernon County, WI. Each crop needs different levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as other nutrients. Tests for soil levels of calcium, magnesium, manganese, boron, iron, zinc, and copper are also available. While the soil in Vernon County is generally not saline, there is a test for that as well.

Testing the soil can give a farmer an indication of the type of soil amendments needed, as well as the next cover crop. For example, legumes, such as soybeans, fix nitrogen into the soil. On the other hand, corn is known to deplete the soil with nitrogen. That is why farmers in Vernon County typically rotate between growing corn and soybeans.

While soil testing in Vernon County WI, typically looks for nutrient deficiencies, excess levels of soil nutrients can be problematic. For example, excess levels of phosphorus can wash off into lakes, rivers, and ponds, causing algae blooms. Too much nitrogen can contaminate groundwater with nitrates. Maintaining a balance with nature, while optimizing crop yield should be the overall goal.

Nutrient management planning is based on a farm’s soil type, as well as the slope of the fields, organic and chemical fertilizers, residual nutrients, and crop rotation. The planning requires detailed record-keeping, with the goal of reducing the risk of contaminating surface and groundwater due to farm runoff.

For nutrient management planning and soil testing in Vernon County, WI, farmers turn to Premier Cooperative.