Soil Test Results
Food Plots
Messages posted to thread:
WI_Eric 15-Sep-17
Buffalo1 15-Sep-17
drycreek 15-Sep-17
nutritionist 16-Sep-17
WI_Eric 21-Sep-17
Pat Lefemine 21-Sep-17
Ace 21-Sep-17
Fuzzy 21-Sep-17
Fuzzy 21-Sep-17
Pat Lefemine 22-Sep-17
Fuzzy 25-Sep-17


Just received soil test results - used Whitetail Institute. What's everyone's thoughts on them for soil testing? I was happy with the turn around time, which was under 2 days for 5 samples. Since this is the first time I have done this just looking for general thoughts. I understand much of their report is for their own seed marketing purposes, but the data included in the report appears sufficient (accuracy is TBD). They provide pH, CEC, Organic matter(%), Phosphorous/Potassium/Calcium/Magnesium (in ppm as well as graph ranging from very low to very high), then suggested lime and fertilizer amounts to apply per acre (per their suggested W.I. plots).

So again any thoughts, personal experiences (good or bad) would be helpful for future testing requirements.


I've used the Ms State Extension service that sends sample to MS State for analysis. Report is very complete and easy to interpret as to condition and needs. Cost is around $6-8 per sample. Turn around is about 1 1/2- 2 wks depending on time of year. Spring is always the busiest because of gardens.


Eric, I use WI also and they will give you fertilizer recommendations for other crops, just have to tell them what you're planting. I think next spring I'm gonna start using John at Granpa Ray's though. It's quite a bit more personal.


most soil testing services are good. There are certified check labs. Here is what i recommend for soils and feed testing. Stay with the same lab if possible as you could send a sample to 10 different labs and get 10 different results. What you want to look for as a "bench mark." You fertilize based on that test and make adjustements. So lets say 1 lab says your ph is 5.8 and some are 5.5 and others 6.1, All that really matters is seeing movement up and down and manage the soil. If one lab shows potassium of 60 and some as high at 75, so what? That doesnt mean 1 is accurate and the other isnt. You just fertilize and watch the plants. They will tell you what is going on. You can also take plant tissue analysis to compare the soil test to the fertilizer used compared to what is actually going on in the plant. That is all that really matters anyways.

Another consideration is soil sample accuracy. A soil test is only as accurate as the one taken by the individual before it gets sent to the lab.


Nutritionist - Agreed, and this is why I ask. Have you ever tried "re-sending" soil samples to the same lab to see how consistent their testing is? Or perhaps 1 sample to multiple different labs to see if any or all of the results align?

Apologies, my career is in Analytical Chemistry (Pharmaceutical), so I live and breathe this sort of thing on a daily basis and have high expectations of course. That said, the requirements between soil testing labs and pharma analytical are worlds apart from a regulatory perspective.

Something that stood out with my 5 samples, and this might by typical, was 4 had pH of 5.3 and 1 had a pH of 5.4. Granted this is only over 80 acres, but I was expecting a little more variation since there are differences in landscape/tree content. So I pondered whether this is just typical for sampling within a "small" area or this was testing facility methodology related.

And as always, thanks for the input Nutritionist! (and all!). You all are really opening my mind and getting the gears turning over food plotting


Great thread. Another consideration is that you can take two different samples from the same hole and get different results. There's a lot of variability from sample to sample. As John points out, it's about the trending data more than the actual numbers.

This past year I went deep on my sample. I went down about 8" where in prior years I only sampled the top 4". The results were far harsher than my 4" sample and in line with what I expected.

By: Ace

In my experience, many people start out ignoring the step of getting the soil tested. They then blame the results on (pick one or more): -Lack of Rain -Insufficient Sunlight -Inferior Seeds -Inadequate Equipment -Liberals

Then after a few years of this (perhaps more for the slow learners), they get the soil tested and usually get a result that makes them wonder how anything at all grew there in the first place.

Don't ask me how I know this.

By: Fuzzy

Pat, when you get down 8" in natural soils, especially the sandier soils in Ct, you are most likely in the "E-layer" where minerals and clays have been leached and organic material content is expotentially lower, I'd expect the pH to be much lower as well.

By: Fuzzy

Pat, when you get down 8" in natural soils, especially the sandier soils in Ct, you are most likely in the "E-layer" where minerals and clays have been leached and organic material content is expotentially lower, I'd expect the pH to be much lower as well.


Fuzzy, this was in NY and I have 6' of dark brown loamy soil. My NY soil is outstanding. My wife wants me to bring a dump trailer load back to our home in CT where we have some of the lousiest soils I've ever seen.

By: Fuzzy

Smart woman Julie ...better buy a dump-truck :) ^^

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