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Clemson University Develops Soil Sampling Software

With low commodity prices and high input costs, accurate soil data is more important than ever. Not only can it help you maximize yields, but also it can lower operating costs by optimizing nutrient applications.

To help you better track soil samples throughout your fields, Clemson University agricultural engineer Kendall Kirk has developed software that pairs a global positioning system (GPS) with a laptop computer to pinpoint exactly where soil samples are taken as they are collected. This will ensure that you collect adequate samples within a management zone that has common soil characteristics and will likely require similar nutrients.

Samples then can be sent to local Clemson Cooperative Extension Service offices for testing at the Agricultural Service Laboratory.

“What you’ll have is a soil sample ID for each sampling zone. Send that to Clemson, and you’ll get it back with a nutrient recommendation,” says Kirk. “These soil samples are guiding your nutrient-application rates, your potassium and phosphate applications. At the end of the day, we are trying to boost profitability.”

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the beta test version of the free software, contact Kirk at kirk2@clemson.edu.

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