This year SGS Canada, in conjunction with SGS Mid-West Seed Services in Brookings, SD (USA), has started work with large fertilizer dealers in Western Canada. SGS is offering custom GPS (Global Positioning System) soil sampling and analysis for more than one million acres of farm ground within Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Through SGS Crop Services, these retailers are able to have confidence that their soil samples are handled by one company from collection to analysis. At the Soil Testing Lab in Brookings, all samples are tested for pH; Organic Matter; major, secondary, and micro nutrients; cation exchange capacity; base saturations and texture. SGS Crop Services also offers online data management for soil analysis.
While these fields are large in size (between 100 and 320 acres), the current soil testing program for Western Canada requires one sample brought back to the lab from each field. In the coming year we intend to provide educational opportunities to producers in this area. As has been seen in the USA, site-specific management of nutrient application has the potential to increase return on investment and protect the environment.