As we head into the spring planting season, many farmers are heading into their machine shops to get their equipment ready for the rush to plant. Much like machinery, the crop fields themselves need work during and after planting season. That’s where Agricultural Consulting Services (ACS) steps in to help.
This team of agronomy technicians and certified crop advisors assists farmers with everything from fertilizer recommendations to scouting for weeds and pests, ACS is in the fields working to make sure farmers get the best yield possible. A few ways they achieve that are mentioned in the sections below.
Submitting Soil Samples
The success of a crop is largely dependent on the soil nutrients available to it. One of the primary tasks of an ACS agronomy technician is to collect soil samples from fields to submit for analysis. A soil test will reveal the nutrient profile. Based on these results, ACS can recommend a plan of action to reintroduce nutrients that are missing or what crop would be best to plant in that field.
It’s not only cropland that ACS can pull soil samples from, but they also visit vegetable fields, vineyards, and hopyards. Anywhere that requires soil to help support plant growth is somewhere it would be wise to pull a soil sample from.
Walking through a field can tell people so many things. What’s the soil consistency? Which parts of the field border a creek or hedgerow? How many weeds are sprouting up? Where is the water draining to? These are just some of the questions when it comes to scouting and maintaining a field.
Once a field has been planted, even more questions come up. Where is there a high concentration of pests? Where is the tile drainage failing? What impact did that fertilizer have on plant growth? How is this field doing compared to one right next to it or down the road?
An ACS person can walk fields and scout out answers to these questions. They will bring nets with them to sample pest populations in the field. They note where there is a wet spot and make a recommendation for how to deal with it. They note the condition of the growing crop and how it is doing given the soil nutrients available and weather conditions. Speaking of soil nutrients, that leads us to another area where ACS helps farmers.
Maps have many important uses on a farm. They show where property lines exist, new employees, where a specific plot is located, where to spread manure or other fertilizer, and help with overall farm business plan management. ACS can assist with field mapping. Much like field scouting, ACS will visit fields to get the big picture of where field characteristics exist, such as laneways, ditches, waterways, and woodlands. Once this information is gathered, ACS works with a mapping group to develop farm maps. A final printed copy, or in the case of large farms, multiple copies are made available to farms.
While farmers focus on getting crops into the ground, ACS will work alongside them to create conditions for the best yield possible. For more information, visit their website or email [email protected].