The Lampasas River Watershed Partnership is offering free soil testing now until Nov. 8 to farmers, ranchers and homeowners within the Lampasas River watershed, said Lisa Prcin, Texas A&M AgriLife Research associate, Temple.
“A soil test will give you the necessary information on what levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients are in your soil,” said Prcin, the agency’s watershed coordinator for the Lampasas River.
“Fertilizer is expensive, and it comes in varying types and concentrations,” Prcin said. “To help make sense of all of this, you first need to test your soil to see what the nutrient content is before deciding if more is needed — and how much.”
Soil samples must be collected in the Lampasas River watershed in order to qualify for the free soil test, a $10 value. The Lampasas River watershed includes parts of Bell, Burnet, Coryell, and Hamilton, Lampasas, Mills and Williamson counties. Maps of the watershed can be found at the participating Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices or online at http://lampasasriver.org/.
Prcin said samples must be submitted by Nov. 8 in a soil sample bag from any AgriLife Extension office, but residents are encouraged to get their samples in as soon as possible. Lab results will be made available for pickup on Dec. 4-5. A short presentation at the following locations will provide participants with information on how to interpret the lab results:
– Dec. 4 — Lampasas County Farm Bureau at 6 p.m., 1793 U.S. Highway 281, Lampasas.
– Dec. 5 — Mills County Community Center at 2 p.m., 1003 Parker Street, Goldthwaite.
– Dec. 5 — Texas A&M Central Texas, Warrior Hall at 6 p.m., 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen.
“If you are unable to attend any of the presentations, you can contact me or the AgriLife Extension office to obtain your results,” Prcin said.
A short YouTube video on how to properly collect a soil sample can be found on the website, plus instructions are on the back of the soil sample bag.
“It is important that people having their soil tested pay attention to and follow proper directions for obtaining a soil sample,” Prcin said.
The Lampasas River and its tributaries, which flow through the participating counties, were identified for watershed protection plan development due to concerns of or over elevated levels of bacteria, she said.
“A watershed protection plan was developed by the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership and AgriLife Research and accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2013,” Prcin said. “Free soil testing is made available to area residents as a result of implementing this plan.”
Prcin said the program is provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information, contact Prcin at 254-774-6008 or email@example.com. To view a copy of the plan and for more information on the partnership, go to http://lampasasriver.org/.