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University of Minnesota Extension

Farmbytes: soil sampling and nutrient guidelines

Manage nutrients by sampling your soils using proper techniques and following application guidelines.

Learn how and why to take a soil sample. Once you know more about your soil, learn about nutrient recommendations based on what you plan to grow.  

Continue learning

Nutrient management for commercial fruit and vegetable crops in MN
This manual provides recommended fertilizer rates based on soil analysis. 

Nutrient/lime guidelines for row crops and small grains
This manual provides recommended fertilizer rates based on soil analysis. 

Maintaining soil fertility in an organic fruit and vegetable crops system
This article focuses on inputs and methods to maintain soil fertility of organic farms and how to manage them based on crop needs. From UMN Extension.

USDA Web Soil Survey
Find your specific soil types, get maps. 

Next steps

  • Use of soil testing and nutrient guidelines can help ensure you apply the right amount of nutrients for productive crops.
  • There are special management considerations for organic fruit and vegetable crops; fertilizer sources tend to release nutrients more slowly and their content and availability varies depending on the source and how it's been processed (in the case of manure and compost).
  • If used properly, the right cover crop can improve soil conditions and nutrient availability.
  • Learn more about the specific soils on your land by using the USDA's Web Soil Survey.

Jake Overgaard, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2015

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