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Recognized soil-testing practices are the most effective means by which fertilizer and lime needs of fields, pastures and gardens can be determined for the growth of certain crops, plants and grasses. It is a means of providing the latest information available from research and experimental sources for fertilizers and limes needed for agricultural production.
Soil testing is also a useful tool for determining animal waste application rates and sustaining profitable forage production. Soil test phosphorus (STP) levels on pastures have become a serious issue for livestock producers who use animal manure as fertilizer. There are a number of states that have regulations for certifying soil testing laboratories which follow recommended uniform methods, procedures and standards for the soil and climatic conditions.