Dirt: A love story.

3

May 14, 2014 by dairycarrie

Sometimes a text message like this one is all you need for a blog post to happen…

Text message from our crop consultant, Tom.

Text message from our crop consultant, Tom.

First things first, let’s talk about testing our soil before we get into affairs of the heart.

In the spring of each year we test our soil. This is not to see if any particular field should apply to Harvard or if any of our fields should retake 3rd grade next year. We test our soil to see what nutrients are there and what nutrients are not there. Soil testing helps us to save money by making sure we don’t over apply fertilizer to a field that is more nutrient dense than the field down the road. Since our cows produce some pretty great fertilizer, but not enough to fertilize all of our fields, soil testing helps us prioritize which fields get our cow’s manure and how much manure we should spread on each field. Most of all, testing our soil helps us ensure the health of our land so that our farm is sustainable and still around for the next generation. Soil sampling is pretty dang important!

This is how we test the soil. Notice the lack of Scantron sheets and number 2 pencils.

This is Nick. He works with Tom, our crop consultant, to collect sample soils. He is also single.

This is Nick. He works with Tom, our crop consultant, to collect sample soils. Nick comes out to our farm with his four wheeler and drives around to all of our fields taking samples of dirt. As Tom mentioned, he is single ladies!

This is a map of our fields. each field is divided into smaller segments for soil testing.

This is a map of some of our fields. Each field is divided into smaller segments for soil testing. Since we live in an area where a glacier came through and left whatever it wanted, wherever it wanted, our fields aren’t exactly uniform. Some fields are high, some are low, some are average but have low spots, some have huge deposits of sand right in the middle of the field. Different types of soil behave in different ways to water and holding nutrients. All of this means that you can’t just walk out into the middle of one field, test that soil and think you know what’s going on in all of the fields.

To take a sample, Nick uses a probe to pull up a plug of dirt. I am sure that this has given him super strong arms. Just sayin""""

To take a sample, Nick uses a probe to pull up a plug of dirt. I am sure that this has given him super strong arms. Just sayin’. 

The probe is made to take a small plug of dirt out of the ground. It's important that we test more than just the top inch of soil!

The probe is designed to take a small plug of dirt out of the ground and release it without having a muddy mess or losing all of your sample. 

Nick puts the samples he has pulled from different areas of each section from the map together into this tub.

Nick puts the samples he has pulled from different areas of each section from the map together into this tub.

The soil samples from each section of the field are packaged up into a bag that indicates which spot in the field the sample was taken from.

The soil samples from each section of the field are packaged up into a bag that indicates which spot in the field the sample was collected from. Go Bucky!

Once Nick is done pulling samples from all of the areas of each field he's testing, they all get shipped off to the lab.

Once Nick is done pulling samples from all of the areas of each field he’s testing, they all get shipped off to the lab.

Once the lab gets our dirt, they will send us a report detailing the nutrient profile of each field. We will use that information and work with our crop consultant to ensure that we are making good decisions for our land as well as our business.

Now, about Nick being single… I don’t know that he’s actually looking for a girlfriend but if he was, I think his personal profile should definitely start with “SWM looking for a woman who likes to be outside, having your own four wheeler is a plus. Must love dirt!”

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3 thoughts on “Dirt: A love story.

  1. Sherry Beaty-Sullivan says:

    Great blog story..got a joke that my soil professor told me thought you might like it. What’s the difference between soil and dirt? Answer: Dirt is just misplaced soil.

  2. Tracey Novak says:

    Love that you mixed humor with a lesson on soil sampling. Tom says that dirt is what is on our kitchen floor because it doesn’t have any nutrients like out in a field. Glad you used this idea!

  3. Amanda says:

    Great story. Love your humor.
    Nick single? Kansas is a great place to visit! 🙂

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