Knowing your soil: Moisture Efficiency

As I drove through town this year, I saw several sign boards advertising soil sampling. As you move through harvest, perhaps it is a practice you are considering this year for the first time, or it is a practice you’ve already begun.

Earlier this year we posted several photos and videos of flax. This is one of the fields where soil sampling has been done for a number of years in order to determine soil health and to build soil fertility.

As I mentioned earlier this week, we are still working through our harvest yields, the monitor in the combine gives us an indication, but we always like to be as accurate as we can be, and it’s always a couple of acres over the actual field size. However, the thing of note that we were most interested in was in comparing approximate production this year, to production in 2015, the last year flax was grown on that same field.

The most interesting piece of information was in comparing the precipitation rates. This year, in total that field received 3 inches less rainfall than in 2015. However, yields were still higher than in 2015. So, even though the plants should have been short on moisture availability, our conclusion is that soil health and the focus on building the soil in the past 4 years have allowed the plants to more effectively utilize the available moisture.

As readers of our blog, you know we are firm believers in utilizing technology and demonstrating how modern agriculture benefits from the adoption of data. Soil testing is one of the best sources of information in understanding how to create the optimal growing environment, and while you can’t control Mother Nature, soil testing and establishing soil health did enable achieving yield growth even when Mother Nature limited her rainfall.

If you are interested in learning more about the soil sampling program used please contact us directly at