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Total Nutrient Digest Analysis [What is the value of this test?]

The Total Nutrient Digest (TND) analysis accounts for all minerals from sand, silt, clay and organic minerals in the soil. This total represents the plant available and non-available mineral nutrients. The textbook definition of a soil is that there is about 45% mineral content.  Therefore, about 750 tons of all different minerals. The TND analysis […]

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Fertilizer Application on Frozen Ground

Winter Fertilizer Application During my winter travels with Ward Laboratories, I frequently observe dry fertilizer application on frozen ground. This is generally an ill-advised practice. In Nebraska, the “Bomb Cyclone” event of March 2019 is a well-documented example of why we advise to avoid amendment application on frozen or snow-covered ground. In this event, large […]

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Stalk Nitrate Testing

Ward Laboratories has been performing stalk nitrate testing since 1990. This test can be utilized to evaluate the efficiency of your in-season nitrogen program for corn and sorghum. A stalk nitrate analysis is to be used only for agronomic management. When evaluating nitrogen use efficiency, we specifically check a lower portion of the stalk for […]

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Trace Genomics and Ward Laboratories, Inc. Partnership

Soil Microbiome [Ward Laboratories, Inc. and Trace Genomics]

We have added industry-leading soil microbiome testing to our robust agricultural testing product offerings! Ward Laboratories, Inc. already offers soil health assays including: Soil Health Assessment Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) analysis Water holding capacity Enzymes Wet Aggregate Stability Similarly, through our partnership with Trace Genomics we offer soil microbiome analysis. This analysis allows our customers […]

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Heavy Metals in Soil

Being aware of the potential risks of heavy metals in soils is important. In Omaha, 125 years of lead smelting at the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) resulted in elevated soil lead concentrations (around 400 ppm) near residential housing. Furthermore, a study conducted on an urban garden soil near a railroad station in Lincoln […]

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Why Test Feeds?

The ultimate question of why Ward Laboratories, INC. has a feed department: Why test feeds? Approximately 2 years ago, in 2020 I tried to answer this question in blog post: Value in feed testing: feed analysis pays off in profits. Here we are 2 years later with drought conditions persisting across western United States. These […]

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Nitrogen Credits from Soybeans

When we make fertilizer recommendations for upcoming crops, it’s good to consider nitrogen credits from past crops. Leguminous species like soybean, alfalfa, and clover may provide a nitrogen credit for the next season’s crop. However, there are a few misconceptions about where the nitrogen credit comes from. Soybean Nitrogen Credits For this example, we’ll talk […]

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Understanding Livestock Water Suitability

Recently, I have consulted with packgoat hobbyist and livestock producers to interpret their livestock water suitability report. Because water is a vital nutrient, understanding these reports is very important to make good decisions. Water plays an important role and many biological functions including transportation of essential nutrients to body tissues and cells, lubricant for the […]

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