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Soil testing resources and support for fruit crops

 Author: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator - Fruit Production.

This week is a perfect time to take a soil test as a fruit grower. Pruning is done, and it is too early to spray. I have started receiving calls from growers asking for assistance interpreting their soil test reports. 

Please feel free to reach out to me for assistance with your test report or soil sampling. If I can't answer your question, I consult with soil scientists at UMN to get you the answer.

In addition to emailing, here are seven other ways to get help with soil testing and soil reports:

1) Watch this video on how to take a soil sample in an orchard or vineyard.

2) Contact your local county Extension Educator. Many, but not all, counties in Minnesota have an agricultural Extension Educator who is happy to help you interpret the test report and decide what amendments to apply. 

3) Call or email the UMN Soil Testing Laboratory. Contact info is on their website. Order soil sample collection kits, get instructions for how to take a soil sample, and submit soil samples for nutrient testing.

4) Use the guide: Nutrient Management for Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Crops in Minnesota is available for free online. This guide contains a list of fertilizer sources for each nutrient, as well as tables to help you decide how much nutrient to add based on the numbers on your test report.

5) Use the organic guide: Nutrient Management for Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production: Maintaining Soil Fertility in an Organic System. It compares the approximate nutrient composition of many different types of compost and manure, among other helpful information.

6) Visit our website on Soil and Foliar Testing for Fruit and Vegetable Crops to get a more in-depth look at soil testing and how to do your own rate calculations for fertilizer, manure or compost.

7) While I am available for help to fruit growers and pumpkin growers, please contact Natalie Hoidal for assistance with vegetable nutrient management.

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