Whitetail News Vol 30.1

Page 46

The Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil-Test Kit Our Best Tool for Food Plot Success


hen it comes to making sure your food plots have everything they need to flourish, you have every reason to use the Whitetail Institute’s laboratory soil test kit, and absolutely no reason not to. There is no question that it’s the very best tool you have for ensuring food plot success and saving money at the same time by eliminating wasted lime and fertilizer expenses.

There are two main factors to ensuring that your food plot plants have access to all the essential nutrients they need: soil pH and nutrient levels in the soil. A laboratory soil test is the only way to ensure that you address both with absolute precision. Soil pH is perhaps the most important factor in determining food plot success. Unless the soil pH in your food plot is at least 6.5 (“neutral”), nutrients in the soil will be bound up in a way that the plants can’t freely access them. Unfortunately, most fallow soils are “acidic” (soil pH below 6.5) and should have soil pH raised by adding lime in advance of planting. To give you an idea of how critically important it is to ensure that the soil pH in your food plot is neutral before you plant, consider the effect of planting in soil with a soil pH of only 5.0. At that soil pH, your forage plants would only be able to access about


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half the nutrients in the soil! If you translate that into human terms, and consider what sort of health you’d be in if you could only take in half the nutrients you need to thrive, you can see how important it is to address soil pH. Likewise, the soil-supplied nutrients essential to forage growth (including fertilizer you put out) must be at optimum levels in the soil in order for the plants to access them. Also consider that “optimum levels” aren’t the same for all types of forage plants, and the nutrient requirements for even one type can vary based on whether it’s being planted or maintained. Further, all soils are not the same in their capacities to hold lime and fertilizer. When you take all of that into account, you can see how important it is to get soil pH and the levels of soil-supplied nutrients exactly right. And there’s a reason only a laboratory soil test can make extremely accurate recommendations of lime and fertilizer for your food plot: only a qualified soil-testing laboratory can analyze a sample of the soil from your plot. And this extreme accuracy doesn’t just benefit your plants. It also benefits your wallet by eliminating wasted lime and fertilizer expenses. Why use a Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit? While any qualified soil-testing laboratory can give you precise lime and fertilizer recommendations, the Whitetail Institute’s kit is different in the way it gives you the information you need. Unlike soil test reports that are designed for commercial farmers, the Whitetail institute soil test report tells you very clearly exactly what your soil pH and soil nutrient levels are, and exactly how much lime and/or fertilizer you’ll need to add to the soil to correct any deficiencies and allow your food plot to flourish. Other reasons to use the Whitetail Institute soil test kit come from our customers who use them. We repeatedly hear that results from the tests are received quicker than with other services. The resource of being able to call the Whitetail Institute at 800-688-3030 and get an expert’s help when needed is invaluable. ^