Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Keeping your soil in tip-top shape is a year-round job.

Matt Thurston, is the CEO of Terralink Horticulture

He says there are multiple reasons why farmers need to be soil testing.

“The soil sampling is good for not only the farmer’s pockets because they’re able to find out what nutrients they need to apply for next year’s crop, but also to ensure that we’re following the 4R practice,” says Thurston.

The Fertilizer Canada 4R Nutrient Stewardship program is about the right source, right rate, right time, and right place.

Ag Sales Manager John Wilson says soil testing is a necessary tool to see what is in the bank and what is needed to achieve your goals during the next growing season.

Wilson says if you wait until spring, it may not get done.

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Thurston says you should not limit your testing to one spot in your field.

“You want a wide variety of the field when you’re doing your samples, just because that if it’s a low spot in the field, you can have different nutrients possibly accumulate there.”

READ MORE: Blue Ridge Farms: Building Topsoil and Community Through Regenerative Farming

Conversely, high parts of the field will have nutrients running away from there.

“That’s why you want a representation of the field to ensure that if you’re going to put fertilizer on, you’re getting your best, I guess, bang for your buck throughout the whole field.”

He says your testing should be done at a depth of six to 12 inches.

Thurston says testing after extreme weather can make it more difficult, especially if it is muddy or there is a good deal of snow in the field.

Terralink Horticulture, is celebrating 50 years of providing conventional and organic fertilizers along with a wide range of crop protection products, seed and other crop inputs.