Fall is the optimum time to conduct soil testing. Whether a farmer tests annually or bi-annually, a soil test can be the ‘cheapest fertilizer dollar’ he/she can spend. The soil is the foundation of strong forages and pasture so knowing the state of the soil’s nutrient profile is important. If there is a requirement for lime to correct pH levels, fall testing allows the farmer time to apply lime pre-winter so that it has plenty of time to be absorbed before the onset of spring growth. It makes sense that if farmers check the oil level of their tractors and motorized machinery before start up, why wouldn’t they check the nutrient level of their soil before the growing season?
The above photo demonstrates the proper height or pre-grazing level for cool season annuals. This is a winter rye/annual ryegrass mix.