It’ s a sermon the Extension Service has preached for years but with fertilizer prices at a near record high, the admonition to base  fertilization on soil tests  should bring new converts into the fold.

“Soil testing is one of the cheapest practices a forage producer can use,” said Texas AgriLife Extension forage specialist Vanessa Corriher, speaking recently at the annual Ag Technology Conference on the Texas A&M-Commerce campus.

“For the past few years, fertilizer prices have increased significantly and have not come down much,” Corriher said.”So producers must learn to manage cost and maintain optimum production.”

She said fertility recommendations should be based on how much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as secondary and micronutrients are available in the soil. “If you don’t know what nutrients you need and at what rate, you either waste money or lose production.”