So, starting from the get go, there are plenty of resources out there on, How to:
1. ..site and clear for a food plot. 2. ..select your annuals and/or perennials. 3. ..maintain it for weeds, pests etc. 4. ..stand or blind placement. 5. ..properly sample the soil for a soil test.
I'm not going into any of that, let's assume that away and 'George' our new or semi seasoned food plotter did or is doing all the above correctly. Now George received his properly sampled soil analysis back... what does it mean to 'George'?
This important and critical step is where I've seen many folks toss good $ away or just listen to nonsensical drivel spewing from any joker that can hold a GoPro knockoff and spell YouTube Download in the search bar.
To get our man George past, "Just go get some 19-19-19 and toss it out there!", heck, he might as well just light some $50's on fire and dance around the ash for all the good it'll do. Heck YOU paid for the soil test - Use it George!
How to Lime and Fertilize correctly, and by that I mean the correct amount while minimizing your hard earned cash outlay.
I created a spreadsheet in Excel, that only requires you to add your plots name + acreage, enter the soil analysis (you'll need to get a real one, not the kit), add the pH you want to get your plot to, based on plants selected. Then, this is the magic part, you can enter in various fertilizer values for P and K and the exact #'s for your specific plot pops out. By plugging in different fertilizer P and K amounts you can easily tell which brand/mix will save you $ and or your back! I generally don't do N as I use inoculated legumes to fix N and most bulk fertilizers have a min amount of N anyway.
My local Ag has many formulas, I use 4-52-0(for P-phosphorus) and 0-0-60 for K-potassium) and a bathroom scale to get the #'s right on. That way I know by pound (which = $) exactly what is going on the ground.
I've posted two examples for my plots. One with my Ag store's formula 14-52-0 and 0-0-60 and one with 19-19-19... you'll see the difference in amount quite clearly. For the 19's it is a single pass, set to the higher # for either P or K rate for your plot, to hit the right amounts in my plots that totaled 2914#'s of 19-19-19. Using my Ag stores mix's it took two passes, one spreading 14-52-0 totaling (195#) and one spreading 0-0-60 totaling (923#) total #'s for all plots was 1118#'s. That's 1796# less fertilizer for the SAME EFFECT.
Last is the pH for your plots, pH is selectable by you as well. I've put two more samples up one at 6.48 pH and one at 6.88 pH - that .4 pH savings in my plots equaled saving 6.7 TON of AgLime - if you are doing that by the 50 bag, your back already thanked me.... getting it right for your crop and saving you $.
If you PM me I'll shoot you an email with the excel attached. No cost, no spam - I just want to get the proper way out there.
For anyone that has read this far, I used multiple references and Dolomite Aglime as my base. I hope this helps, this site has been a wealth of info when I started a couple years ago, I'm just passing it on.
Best Regards, Stressless
I'm trying to use this a learning option so all opinions are welcome.
Sorry if my mesgs are at a strange time - currently in the Middle- East supporting the Army mopping up Daesh (ISIS).
I still would like to see your spreadsheets.
My aAG co-op test sends that data and so does SwampYankes's since the WTI test gives it's recommended #/acre of lime (they use a standard effectiveness values for AgLime, Small print, bottom of Table 3....} With that we can almost back into the Buffered pH index level. But WTI doesn't give you the Calcium levels, they send all their soil samples to Waypoint for the soil analysis -> http://www.waypointanalytical.com/ You guys can google that if you want but the formula for deriving the Lime needed in #'s per acre is a function of the tested Soil pH AND the soils lime buffer capacity (LBC)and raw calcium needed. Two of which WTI leaves off their results. Here's a little chart that references how critical the buffering capacity of the soil is.
Update: So WayPoint Analytical called me back and explained the issues. WTI has created, with them, a result that is specific to plants WTI designed from other AgRo business. WTI specially leave off variables needed to neck down the results, Buffer pH, Calcium #'s per acre, If you buy seeds and forage different then WTI you might want to take your soil test to the local Ag Co-Op's and get it done there. Actually the WTI report says exactly the same thing, take the info to the Ag co/op in fine print under table 1 even for their soil analysis reports. The Ag co/op will provide you with the necessary reports to zero in on exactly what you need per plot for your specific seed /forage mix.
The fine print in WTI soil report: "To determine the best and cost effective fertilizer for your plots, check with your local farm co/op, feed and fertilizer store or call WTI at 800-688-3030 ext 1." When I called and asked the guy for specifics, he seemed nice enough, but he said would just be guessing.
Best regards, Stressless
Less than impressed.. I'm going to re-sample my plots and get an Ag report then post the results. WI gave me not less then 4 exact amounts, out of 7 reports, to the POUND, on fertilizer per acre and each was different CEC, and Org matter and Ph, no Lime Index (I called and asked) which scews the Ph findings.
Also on cost; the shipping for a #1 of dirt plus the higher cost for a WI sample, and much less data is ~ 2.6 times more per plot / sample then taking to a local Ag.
If you use WI - well good for you. Best of luck. You have $ to burn and don't really need the details on what's in your soils, what's best for your plots or expert local advice.
Best Regards, Stressless