Using Ag PhD Soils
The Ag PhD Soils workflow process consists of 10 main steps.
Setup Your Ag PhD Soils Account
Go to the Ag PhD Soils website here and create an account for yourself. Or download the Ag PhD Soils mobile app and create your account from within the app.
If you currently have a Farmers Edge account, you still need to create a separate Ag PhD Soils account.
Order Soil Sampling Supplies
You will need a number of supplies to complete your soil sampling tasks and make sure the testing lab can complete your tests effectively. These include sample bags and soil probes and can be purchased from the Ag PhD Soils website. If you need assistance, please contact your Farmers Edge Ag PhD Soils Support team via telephone at 1-800-845-8171, or via email at [email protected]
Draw Your Fields
Before you can start sampling, you need to draw your fields, which means you need to define your field’s location within Ag PhD Soils by drawing a border around it. Drawing the border, besides being a visual aid, allows Ag PhD Soils to calculate the area of the field. The field is drawn once and will be re-used for sampling in different seasons.
Build a Soil Sampling Job
When a field‘s border is defined, you can build your soil sampling job for that field. Ag PhD Soils creates a generated job number for the season in which you are sampling. Returning to the field in another season will generate a new job number, with the field border remaining consistent.
After the job is created, you will create a grid overlay to define where the samples should be taken. This grid spreads the sampling over the field and allows you to return in other seasons to sample at nearly the same spots, allowing for stronger comparative analysis between seasons.
Prepare for Your Sampling Work
Being prepared for all possible situations is important when soil sampling. It increases your level of success and helps you avoid the need to return to the same field. Besides the obvious need to be ready for inclement weather, you should have a number of tools for effective sampling, including your mobile device and sampling supplies.
It is recommended that you are well prepared before heading to the field to start sampling.
Pull and Record Your Soil Samples
Use Ag PhD Soils to navigate the field to collect your samples. Follow the compass icon on your device to accurately locate the sampling points in the grid and take your samples. Move from point to point, logging each in Ag PhD Soils, and using the autogenerated sample numbers or your own number system to define each sample and its reference grid point. Writing these numbers on your sample bags creates a direct correlation of your sampling data.
Close Your Sampling Job
Once all the samples for the job have been taken and logged, you close the job to finalize the data within Ag PhD Soils. A closed job cannot be edited so you should verify that you’ve collected all your samples and that the samples are secure before closing a job. At this point, the data is only in your mobile device and won’t be available until you sync your data with the Ag PhD Soils Web Headquarters.
Sync your data by tapping on the Synchronize button once sampling is complete and the job is closed.
Order the Lab Test Package
Next, your samples will be analyzed by MidWest Laboratories. You need to order lab tests on the Ag PhD Soils Web Headquarters for each job, creating work orders which will be used for your communications with the lab and for future reference.
Ship Your Soil Samples
Once your lab test orders are in place, you box up the samples and send them off with the relevant paperwork. You can send multiple sampling jobs in the same box provided the paperwork for each job is included.
Manage Soil Sample Test Results
Your test results will be uploaded to your Ag PhD Soils account within 5-7 days from the time you sent your samples to the lab. The results illustrate nutrient levels and other relevant information about the soil. Comments provide insight and make suggestions as to changes that you can make through soil management. With your own knowledge of the field and the comments and recommendations provided by the lab, you can create nutrient prescriptions for the upcoming growing season using the Recommendation Engine. Each job can have a recommendation and comments created for that specific field.
Bring these steps to the field.
Download a printable PDF of these steps.