Why is soil-testing important? And why would someone want to test their soil for completeness? First let me explain what I mean by complete soil so you can see this in a new light. Complete soil is made up of 3 parts, texture, biology and chemistry. Each of these three parts in themselves must be complete and in balance with each other. Any missing parts and your yield and the health of your soil is at risk. Any part out of balance with the other parts also makes it incomplete. 

   In order to have complete soil year after year you will need to address the changes that took place in your field(s). Good changes that nature provided and depletions caused by plant uptake. 

   There are soil test kits and free soil testing at your local extension offices. They offer incomplete soil tests and will cost you in more ways than one. Here is an example.

   Boron in the chemistry part is vital in small amounts for your soil to work properly. An analogy would be to have a complete assembly line with all the machines, electricity, personnel, know how and parts WHITHOUT any oil. The assembly line won't run without oil. Boron, one of the chemicals in soil plays a similar part.   

Soil Testing and the 5 Other
Soil Practices For Complete and Healthy Soil

   Soil testing should be done each year after harvest so you can get your report and order your custom amendments in plenty of time for next spring planting. Getting in a routine sequence can help simplify the addition of these soil practices.

  1. Proper soil testing after harvest. 
  2. Key-line plowing on contour after soil samples are collected in the fall.
  3. Diverse cover/cash crops during or after key-line plowing. 
  4. Adding amendments according to proper soil testing. Fall or Spring
  5. Proper seed spacing. Reduces plant stress and need for toxic chemicals.

Soil-Testing Type

   If we are to get usable information we need to remove variables that would interfere with consistent results. For now and until we discover a reason to change the soil-testing type, the Standard Soil Test is the one we suggest. The lab we use and recommend can be found here with an explanation in the 4 minute video: 

   Standard Soil Test and link for sample report

   Simple and consistent soil-testing such as this can make a difference in overall production and a better understanding of what makes the difference in production quantity/quality.

Susan Shaner Logan Labs

What To Do After You Get Your Soil Test Results

   Since soil test results are expected to be different from field to field, how does one apply this information to address the texture, biology and chemical part of their complete soil system? You contact an expert that is experienced in getting results and getting your custom made product for your soil. Contact GGO International and get their recommendation(s) and your custom product based on your soil test.