Digging In

The SHP Soil Sampling Process

The SHP Soil Sampling Process

By Jack Cornell on Thursday, 11 July, 2019

Asking a farmer to take part in a research project that involves soil sampling will always be a bit of an adventure, because after all, as Leonardo Da Vinci is attributed to have stated, “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot”. 

While we have learned a lot since Da Vinci’s time, it always seems there is a new soil test or soil property we are searching for. For example, there is a lot of soil sampling now being done on the genetic testing of soil. Not only does the Soil Health Partnership focus heavily on investigating new soil testing techniques, we also collaborate with key soil scientist on new innovative ways to learn about soil. This goes back to our core mission of working with farmers to learn how to make their farm operations more productive and maximize yields through knowledge and understanding of your soil.  

How does SHP share what we learn? SHP is dedicated to making sure the growers understand their soil sampling results and include any new techniques if there is value to our growers. We have a dedicated staff of Field Managers that take the results of the soil sampling and sit at your kitchen table and go over the results with you in detail. Also, every summer we have a big summer research meeting where our growers come together. For the first time, in 2019, our Lead Scientist will lead farmers through the learnings of the past year such as the impact of soil health practices on various soil types. This year, we will also share our strategic plan forward, our updated data collection, and updated data and analysis processes. We will also share new research projects or soil testing techniques we are investigating to our partner and associate farmers. After the insights are shared with our farmers, we will share select aggregated research findings with our partners and others.

In conclusion, when the SHP soil sampling regime is implemented, we learn about  soil’s essential elements, pH range (key for plant nutrient uptake), and even information on organic matter and aspects of how active your organic matter is. These data points do not mean much if you do not pair them with good management practices and a little help from mother nature to maximize your yields. SHP is dedicated to helping growers not only understand soil sampling test results but how management affects your bottom line. 

View our most recent webinar to learn more about SHP soil sampling.