Soil test - Muskingum county Ohio
I have two 1/2 acres fields that I want to put food plots in. I will be planting Forage Soybeans. The property I'm planting on was farmed approximately ten years ago, but now is just field with many weeds, small trees etc. I've brush hogged the areas I want to plant. My question is should I get the soil tested before I plant and if I do, how long does it usually take to get the results back. I was hoping to plant next weekend, but was advised by someone that I should wait and have it tested first. Thanks
Muskingum County Ohio
I do highly recommend a soil test because the information provided will help you make management decisions that will lead to a better crop. At this time I would pay most attention to getting pH results so that you know if you need to apply lime. But you should be thinking in terms of what might be needed for pH, phosphorous, and potassium as you begin to manage the field. Also in this situation make sure that you have an inoculant provided with the soybeans so that they will have a source for symbiotic bacteria to promote root nodulation (which gives them the capacity to produce their own nitrogen). Fields that have been out of soybeans for several years should be inoculated to insure the bacteria is present.
So, #1) yes, soil test so you have information about pH, phosphorous, and potassium; and, #2) make sure you purchase an inoculant for the soybeans if they do not come with one.
We sell soil test kits at the Extension office in Muskingum County, 225 Underwood Street, Zanesville (muskingum.osu.edu for more info). These can take up to 7-10 days to get results back. Other commercial labs around the state may be able to move more quickly but there are no guarantees. A phone call to a few labs may help.
Have a discussion with your seed provider about their management recommendations if you have not done so already as you work on transitioning the field.
Feel free to follow up with any questions.