Rock River Laboratory champions Spring Ahead soil educational campaign

Rock River Laboratory
New campaign seeks to break fall soil sampling dogma and help agronomists and growers avoid fertilizer planning time crunch.

Just in time for warmer weather, Rock River Laboratory is launching its new Spring Ahead educational campaign to raise awareness of the benefits that spring soil sampling and fertility planning can offer everyone in the agronomic community. 

The new campaign focuses on breaking the unsustainable, long-time fall soil sampling and analysis precept. “By shifting to a spring mindset, growers and their agronomists can appropriately plan ahead for soil recommendations that are implemented throughout the growing season,” explains Scott Fleming, Rock River Laboratory sampling director. “All parties might even relieve some of the fall busy-season stress caused by harvest and soil sampling squeezed into one season with questionable weather.” 

Agronomic research has shown that over the winter, freeze and thaw cycles create nutrient deposits in the soil. Spring sampling accounts for these - providing results that match actual soil conditions of the growing crops. Though fertilizer markets appear stable in early 2023, the economy fluxes, and supply chains can break. Spring soil sampling and the resulting recommendations offer greater fertilizer purchase flexibility to time markets just right. 

“Our lab has done extensive research with soil test data from over 700,000 samples to compare spring-sampled fields with fall-sampled fields,” shares Dustin Sawyer, Lab Director for Rock River Laboratory. “The results showcased very little difference between the two seasons - which is likely a result of management practices, not sampling season. This difference is so small that the benefits of switching to spring soil sampling far outweigh any concerns linked to changing sampling seasonality.”

Growers and agronomists still have time to shift to spring soil sampling in 2023! Find valuable validation research, guides, and other educational soil resources at