The first step in effectively using soil test results to your advantage is comparing the results to historical records to ensure the results make sense. Remember, when comparing current soil tests to historical data, that the information was gathered at the same time of year, because nutrient availability can change during the year. While trends may be evident, any big change in nutrient levels in the soil should be looked at carefully.
Once the test results are analyzed with historical data, begin building a fertilization plan with the help of expert resources. Crop consultants, agronomists and extension agents all have tools and data available to them to help you develop a crop nutrition plan for the next growing season. Getting multiple viewpoints on your soil test results and subsequent fertilization needs will also help you determine what options make sense for your field and your budget.
Soil tests are a great tool for farmers to fully understand what nutrients are available for the crop. However, the historical data in a field can also help determine trends in soil fertility and how to avoid nutrient deficiencies in the future.