Huron Conservation District offers soil nitrate testing

Local testing service can save nitrogen fertilizer inputs.

The Huron Conservation District’s nitrate test lab is performing soil nitrate analysis for the 2012 crop year. Pre-sidedress nitrate testing is an excellent and inexpensive way of determining the available nitrogen (N) in your soil just before sidedressing. You should sample fields where corn or sugar beets are planted. Fields previously planted to legumes or that had manure applied are more likely to have a higher N credit.

The cost for each sample analyzed is $7.25. Samples delivered to the Conservation District office by 3 p.m. will have completed results available by 1 p.m. the following day. The Huron Conservation District office is located west of Bad Axe, Mich., at 1460 S. Van Dyke Rd. (M-53) (view map).

In 2011, the Conservation District lab processed 1,974 samples covering 40,000 acres. These samples averaged a nitrogen credit of 95 pounds per acre. About two-thirds of the 1,974 samples had manure previously applied. Of those manure samples, 86 percent had a nitrogen credit of greater than 50#/A. Of the third of non-manure samples, 74 percent had a nitrogen credit of greater than 50#/A. The Conservation District staff estimates that pre-sidedress nitrate testing saved their farmer clients $64.31 per acre at a nitrogen cost of 68 cents per pound.

For more information on pre-sidress nitrate testing, see the article Pre-sidedress soil nitrate test will save money on nitrogen fertilizer.

Contact the Huron Conservation District at 989-269-9540 ext. 3 with questions.

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