February 2000 Articles
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Filling Out The Information Sheet
Spring is coming, we know it is because the ground hog told us so. Although Old Man Winter will surely get at least one more lick in before he's through. With spring comes soil testing, ordering TSM Pre-Mix, and farmers getting "antsy" for their recommendations.
To help things go a little more smoothly as far as recommendations go, there are some things you as a TSM Dealer should keep in mind as you are filling out the TSM Information Sheet. We realize that you do get writer's cramps but if you want complete and accurate recommendations we need complete and accurate information.
Probably the most important thing is field numbers. Our whole system revolves around field numbers. We keep up to five years history for each field. This history is stored according to, you guessed it, field numbers. If you don't provide the same field number for the same field from year-to-year then we may not be able to match a field with its corresponding history. If a field is new, then tell us in the comments section. If you want to change an existing field number, we need the old number and the new number. You may also consider adding notes to the comments section such as "Home Farm" or "Dad's Farm" to help us and you identify the field.
Recommendations cannot be made without acreage, next year's crop and yield goal, and last year's crop and yield. We have to know what the farmer wants to grow and what size yield is expected.
Since we don't always get the soil test results from fields (or portions thereof) at the same time, it is a good idea to send us a field map. If we have a map in our records we can tell if we have all the soil tests in for a field and if a field can be spread together. If several samples are from one field, tell us on the information sheet. We may be able to group samples together to be spread as one field.
Don't forget to fill in the back of the top white sheet, especially for any new growers you may have. The back of the white sheet need only be filled out once each year for each grower, unless his preferences change. We use this information to personalize recommendations to a grower's preferences. For example John Farmer may want his fertilizer spread in the spring and may practice no-till. His neighbor, Jeff Grower, may want his conventional tilled ground spread in the fall. It's all a matter of preference. If the grower is brand new, indicating this will help us.
When you have filled out everything you can possibly fill out on the information sheet, then it's time to send the top white sheet to the TSM Main Office. The pink and yellow lab copies go to the soil lab (of your choice) with your soil samples. Keep the blue copy for your records and if you had your samples pulled using GPS the green copy should go to the soil sampler.
Just a couple of final thoughts. There is now a place to put the date sampled immediately under the Grower's name and address information. We ask that you do this, since it helps in tracking down when samples were mailed in and when recommendations can be expected. There is also a place to mark whether or not a field was soil sampled using GPS. This is helpful to us so we know if the recommendations need to go back to our mapping department before being sent to you.
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