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Concerned about reducing nutrient runoff? Addressing the health of your soil and changing a few land management practices can have a substantial impact.

The NRCS defines soil health as "The continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans."

Representatives of AgSource Laboratories, the Ellsworth Development Group, Hamilton County and the community of Ellsworth were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new laboratory in Ellsworth, Iowa. Ceremony participants included Pat Baier, AgSource COO; Danny Anderson, Ellsworth City Superintendent; Jim Friedericks, AgSource Outreach & Education Advisor; Jim Elliott, Jensen Builders; Steve Holt, Ellsworth Development Group; Kevin Klink, AgSource; Steve Frack, AgSource VP Laboratory Operations; Randy Law, AgSource; Katie Lindaman, AgSource; Brittany Dickey, Corn Belt Power Cooperative; Dan Olson, Midland Power Cooperative; Marvin Norem, Ellsworth Development Group President; Patty Yungclas, previous landowner; and Sarah Thompson, Hamilton County Economic Development. 

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium tend to get the most attention when reviewing crop management plans, but focusing on micronutrients through plant tissue testing offers more details of your crop's nutritional status.

If a plant's appearance has been affected by low nutrient levels, your yield has already been compromised. Taking multiple plant tissue samples throughout the growing season can help you to stay ahead of your crops' nutrient needs.