Interpretation of Soil Test Results

J Cheston Stevens  |  3/11/2010 7:40:09 PM

The Soil Test Results sheet that you receive from the LSU AgCenter Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Laboratory may not be easily understood if this is the first time you have submitted a soil sample. The values on that page that are to the right of the nutrient or elemental name are numbers that were found after testing the soil with a particular method or test. The numbers are important; however, the ratings are most important. These are a range of values within each rating. Thus, if your soil test value for a nutrient falls within that range, then that rating will be found on the Soil Test Results sheet just to the right of the value for that nutrient.

Soil test recommendations are given on the lower half of the Soil Test Results sheet. The recommendations are given as ounces or pounds of a fertilizer form on the basis of per bush, per foot of row, per 100 or 1,000 square feet or per acre.

If you need assistance in understanding this information, please notice that your local County Agent gets a copy of your Soil Test Results sheet. In reviewing the lower part of this sheet, you will see, in bold print, the telephone number of your local county agent's office. This number is provided for your convenience should you need any help. Do not hesitate to call the county agent; they are willing and able to assist you.

When you receive the Soil Test Results sheet in the mail, there will be a Soil Test Information sheet included for the crop or crops that you have indicated you have planted or will be planting. Please read through the Soil Test Information sheet, as it gives some detailed information on your sample.

More Information

Understanding Fertilizer - Fertilizer comes in different strengths and blends. The three numbers on the fertilizer bag show the percent by weight of the three major nutrients. The first number is always the percent nitrogen (N). The second is always the percent phosphate ( P2O5). The third number is always the percent potash (K2O).   (more...)
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