Hobby Farms Editors
February 18, 2009

Test Your Soil for Quality Hay

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For growers to get the most for their money–and from their fields, a Purdue University expert recommends getting a soil test–and an excellent time to do that is now.

Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist, predicts that demand for hay will be high this year. He says the quailty hay will sell quickly, but also expects yields to be lower than producers would hope for.

One good reason to get a soil test is the increase in fertilizer prices; knowing how much fertilizer your soil requires can help ensure you don’t buy more than you need.

Depending on soil test results, Johnson said, potassium and phosphorus might need to be applied. The best time to apply recommended fertilizer as prescribed by a soil test is the day after bales have been removed from the field, he said.

Contact your Cooperative Extension office for information about certified soil-testing laboratories and to learn more about soil testing in your area.

Learn More an Indiana Workshop
Individuals wanting to learn more about forage fertilization and how to get the most out of their crop may with to attend Purdue Forage Day, which will be held June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in northeast Indiana.

Other forage day topics to be covered:

  • Indiana sales tax as it relates to the forage enterprise
  • Co-ensiling forage and distillers grains
  • Possible double crop forage crops to follow winter wheat
  • Attributes of a viable lignocellulosic biofuel forage crop
  • The size of equipment growers should buy
  • An equipment demonstration

For directions and more information, visit http://www.agry.purdue.edu/forageday/index.html or call Keith Johnson at (765) 494-4800.


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