Crops & Horticulture
Midway District has nearly 250,000 acres harvested each year. This results in grain sales measuring almost $66 million per year. The land in the Midway District is diversified. We grow wheat, grain sorghum, soybeans, corn, grass hay, alfalfa, and sunflowers.
Our office provides information on soil testing and analysis, variety selection, demonstration plots, drought issues, and cropping systems.
Kansas Crop Performance Tests
The KSU Soil Testing Lab is a full service lab providing excellent service to agricultural producers for the analysis of
- Plant, Forage and Grain
- Soil Analysis
Farmer samples are sent by submitting samples to the local county extension office or agent, who then sends the sample(s) to the KSU Soil Testing Lab. Results are typically sent back to the county extension agent, who reviews the sample data and makes recommendations for the fertillizer application (if requested.) Here, the farmer will pay for the tire alignment (if requested). The farmer will be liable to pay the soil sample analysis fee at the extension office.
Alternatively, the farmer can drop off the soil sample or mail the sample, along with a Sample Information Sheet completed in full, directly to the lab with any associated fees (Farmer & Gardner Soil Price List) to:
K-State Research and Extension
2308 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Rd, Manhattan, KS 6656-5503
In both instances the results will be sent directly to the producer with recommendations included, if requested.
Soil Sample Instructions
A soil test provides information on the basic fertility of the soil. It is the starting point for determining how much and which fertilizers to use on a crop. Without a soil test, you are just guessing at your level of soil fertility.
Proper collection of a representative soil sample is important for accuracy and analysis of test results. Follow these steps to obtain a good sample:
You Will Need: Soil Probe, Trowel or Shovel, Clean Plastic Bucket, and Soil Bags
Step 1: Identify uniform areas to be tested.
- Decide if your field can be treated as one sample or needs to be broken down into smaller samples. If you believe the soil type, previous crop, and fertilizer treatments are consistent across the field, treat as one sample. If soil type and topography change across the field, different crops have been planted on different parts of the field, or there are problem spots, break the field down into smaller units to sample
- A separate soil test should be done on a garden or lawn, or between the front lawn and back lawn if there are noticeable differences. Avoid sampling areas that might give misleading results. If information is desired in these unusual areas, obtain a separate sample for these areas.
Step 2: Using a soil probe or shovel, dig vertically to a depth of 6 inches for row crop or garden samples, 4 inches for pasture samples, and 3 inches for lawns. Remove all plants, sod or thatch from the sample. If available nitrogen, chloride, or sulfur test is desired, a subsoil sample to 24 inches is necessary.
Step 3: Take at least 10-15 samples from the field and mix the samples together in a clean, plastic container to create a representative sample. The more sub-samples you take, the more assured you'll be that the soil test results are representative of your field. Bring approximately two cups of mixed soil to one of the Midway Extension District Offices. If subsoil samples are desired, samples from the 0-6" depth should be kept separate from the samples 6-24" depth.
Step 4: Samples should be dry. You can let samples air dry but do not use heat to dry your samples.