Looking to buy soil?  Read this first!

One of the most important investments you will make for your farm is purchasing soil.  With so many options out there it can be an overwhelming decision but it doesn’t have to be.  Here are 3 questions to answer that will make the process easier.

1)To bag or not to bag…

The prevalence of single use plastic bags in the world is staggering.  In the US alone                                more than 300 plastics bags are used each year by EVERY person.  That is more than 100 billion plastic bags!  Bagged soil does offer some convenience but that convenience comes at a staggering cost.  Ask yourself if I don’t use plastic bags in the grocery store do I want to use them on my farm?  Whether you are purchasing material for a large commercial farm or a backyard project bulk material offers an alternative that can reduce your footprint. 

2) Is testing information available on the soil?

Considering the financial investment you are going to make purchasing material it is vital you know as much about the material as possible.  To make an informed decision it is critical for farmers to see pesticide residue screens as well as nutrient analysis that show heavy metal levels in the material.  Don’t wait until your harvest fails COA testing to discover you invested in contaminated material.  If a company stands behind their material they will have testing information available for you to look at. 

3)How am I going to get all this to my farm?

For large projects it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get the soil from the store to the farm.  When considering soil companies look into their logistics and see if their system will work for you.  Do they have their own trucks? Are their drivers competent to handle your sites specific needs?  Ask for details on how much transportation will cost and a timeline for when the job will be completed.  Soil companies should be there to support farmers not hold up their planting season.