Soil Sampling in the Spring vs. Fall
Soil sampling for lab analysis is a critical aspect of effective nutrient management, as it provides valuable information on the fertility status of your soil, according to an article on the Ohio State University Extension Agronomic CropS Network website. Many producers find that fall is an ideal time to sample soil for several reasons: 1) soils often have an ideal moisture range that makes sampling easy, 2) it gives producers ample time to apply fertilizer or lime before the next crop and 3) it helps ensure spring planting will not be delayed.
Of course, soils can be sampled at other times of the season, most commonly in the spring before planting. But how will soil sampling at different times of the year affect your soil test results? A study from the University of Kentucky found that soil values will vary seasonally, and that they tended to be lowest in the fall. To see how this compared with Ohio soils, OSU researchers conducted a small study to compare differences in spring vs. fall sampled soil.