Nutrient Recommendation FAQ

We often get questions about nutrient recommendations on soil test reports, below you will find some of the commonly asked questions when requesting nutrient recommendations.

Nutrient Recommendations on ALGL soil submittal form

When do I complete this section of the submittal form out?

Only complete this section you are requesting nutrient recommendations for a given soil test. A minimum of a S1 is required. There is a cost associated with adding nutrient recommendations to a sample. If you do not want nutrient recommendations, simply leave this section blank.

What does the “R” column initiate?

Placing a “x” in this column will indicate that you want the nutrient recommendations in a crop rotation sequence.

What does it mean for nutrient recommendations to be in “rotation”?

Rotation means that the nutrient recommendations will be calculated in crop rotation sequence. This only has an impact on nitrogen recommendations when the previous crop provides nitrogen credit to the following crop. The crop rotations will flow from previous crop to first crop in year one, then from first crop to second crop in year two, and finally from second crop to third crop for year three.

When would you not request nutrient recommendations in “rotation”?

When the nutrient recommendations are not in rotation, the first, second and third year crop are treated as options. For example, the grower may not be certain as to what crop is going to be raised, or maybe there might be more than one crop planted in the field.

How does the “Yield Goal” impact the nutrient recommendations?

When a portion of a plant is removed from a field the nutrient content of the removed material needs to be replaced as part of the nutrient recommendations. In some cases, quantifying the removal is not practical/possible therefore a yield goal is not required, and an estimation is added to the nutrient recommendation. In other cases, like animal pastures, the nutrients do not leave the field and a large portion of the nutrients are redeposited in the field through the manure of the animals. If the yield goal is left blank and one is required, the lab staff will insert an average yield for the crop.

Do I need to identify the “Previous Crop”?

A previous crop is not required and will only impact nitrogen rates in which the previous crop provides nitrogen credit to the following crop.

Do I need to identify 3 crops?

No, but you can identify up to 3 for each soil sample.

When requesting nutrient recommendations for a cover crop, should it be listed as a crop?

We often get requests for nutrient recommendations for cover crops. Keep in mind that one of the goals of a cover crop planting is to scavenge excess available nutrients, purposely fertilizing cover crops defeats their intended purpose.

What nutrient recommendations am I getting?

The default recommendations are those developed by ALGL unless university nutrient recommendations are requested. That is often done by adding a note in the “Additional Information” box in the lower right corner of the submittal form. We offer Illinois and Tri-State nutrient recommendations on applicable crops.

Why does the resulting soil test report crop not match what was written on the submittal form?

If a plant or crop is included that we do not have defined recommendations for we will either edit the crop to a agronomically/horticulturally similar plant if possible or remove the crop.

Where do I put the request for nutrient recommendations on a Preside dress Test (PSNT) or Corn Stalk Nitrate Test (CSNT)?

These analyses can be used to further refine nitrogen application rates and overall management. Due to the complexity of those recommendations, we cannot collect enough information to make a sound nutrient recommendations on a soil test report. However, your regional ALGL agronomist can help make sense of the data.

Can recommendation be added to GIS collected soil samples?

Yes, you do not need to use the standard soil test submittal form to request nutrient recommendations, but the submittal information from the GIS software will need to contain the same information.

What information will I receive on the report?

Above is an example of what the resulting nutrient recommendations might look like. This field requested corn at 210 bpa and soybeans at 65 bpa in rotation. Note the “(TS-IN)” next to the crops. That indicates Indiana Tri-State Recommendations. If they are the ALGL internal recommendations this would be blank. When lime is required to meet the target soil pH for a crop, a lime rec in tons/ac will be listed, the is intended to be a onetime per sampling cycle application. The remaining nutrient recommendations are based on annual applications for that given crop. The annual recommended nutrient application rate is in pounds of the given nutrient, not fertilizer product/nutrient source. The rates of fertilizer to meet these recommendations will need to be calculated based on the nutrient sources you are using. The nitrogen rate is not listed for Tri-State recommendations as there is no defined way to calculate the rate, it varies based on university data and market price. The ALGL recommendations may be too high for your situation, improved nitrogen use efficiency practices on your operation will lead to nitrogen recommendation reduction. Additional information or notes maybe listed below this chart, such as where to find a calculator to determine a nitrogen rate for Tri-State Recommendations.

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