Periodic soil testing, followed by fertilization and liming according to the soil test recommendations, is important to maintain forage stands and to achieve good forage production. For most farms, no single management practice will have a more longterm influence on meat or forage production per acre.
Some of the benefits of lime are: improving the chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil, promotes better nitrogen fixation by legumes, increases the availability of nutrients to plants, enhances the effectiveness of some herbicides, and supplies calcium, magnesium and other minerals to crops. Many producers are missing a great opportunity for increasing profits by not following a good lime and fertilizer program. The only way to know how much lime and fertilizer you may need is to soil test.
With Spring less than two months away, now is the perfect time to sample your fields and apply the recommended lime before fertilizer season hits. If you would like to have your fields correctly sampled, Robert Smith of Smith Farm Supply can handle this for you. He is our outside salesman and technical consultant who was a consulting soil scientist prior to working for Smith Farm Supply. While gathering soil samples, he also conducts a field inventory. These field inventories will aid in management decisions regarding weed control and timing of fertilization. Once the soil analyses are back, he will meet with the producer to review and explain each soil analysis and provide a plan to increase forage production and soil fertility.