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Subject:  Soil/plant labs

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Bloomington, IN USA

People on this site use all sorts of labs for testing which vary in their costs as well as their expertise in “our” crop, AGs.
Obviously Western Labs is at the top of the list. But other labs have advantages of lower costs or closer proximity.
What I would like to know is, have people found there to be a significant advantage to utilizing Western Labs’ Secret Vault program?
Also, are there really valuable nuggets of info in John Taberna’s book?

8/1/2022 11:26:18 PM


Benson, MN

While it is nice that Western Labs has a test specifically designed for AG's, I have never used them. I am fortunate enough to have a lab right in my hometown - Agvise Laboratories. They do the same test as Western for $40, and I get results the next day. But just don't have the recommendations specific for AG's. I believe the biggest help to me was Langley soil calculator and making sure I got all the ratios as close as possible.

8/2/2022 7:53:24 AM


Jackson Twp, Ohio

Western Labs is the only lab to my knowledge to have put together a set of recommendations for soil and tissue results based on some initial testing of heavy hitters plants. Every other lab is merely making recommendations based on generic pumpkin crop guidelines. John was intrigued by what we do, made an investment to make some targeted guidelines and is now using them in his business.

If you are on the calcareous soils of the intermountain west, I don't think there is a better lab. If you are in the east and really trust a specific lab, there may be, but probably isn't an argument to use someone other than western labs.

Remember though the data that comes back is at a particular point in time and is only as valuable as you are able to interpret the results and recommendations into your own experience and execution in your patch.

Sometimes you need a hammer and sometimes you need a stirrup hoe, gotta have the right tool for the job.

8/2/2022 7:58:41 AM


Bloomington, IN USA

Thank you for your input.
One of the things I was interested in is their soil solution tests.
Any idea how helpful this can be?
I have concern that much of my Ca, P & Mn is locked up.

8/2/2022 8:32:41 AM


Kutztown, PA


That's really the best way to find out if you Ca,....is "locked up". Having good stuff in the soil wont help unless its available to the plant.

8/2/2022 9:05:29 AM


Kutztown, PA

Here's a link to solution test I had done by Western Labs at the beginning of the year:


Also, John answered some specific questions via email at NC.

8/2/2022 9:33:21 AM


Torrance, Ca.

Western is one of the best! I wish Steve Daletas or Ron Wallace would come on here but their to busy in the patch,,,, John comes to his patch when he's in the area to check things out. They've both been working with John and Harry for over 20 plus years.
Harry, their lead pathologist called me from his personal cell phone many years ago. He probably wish he didn't! lol I've been calling him directly and texting ever since. He's always there to answer any disease question I have and a remedy for the situation.
There are a lot of labs out there but I've been with them for at least 10 years and can't go anywhere else.

Before them I used A & L Agricultural and they did a good job. Western that John owns is the place and many of the best growers in America use them because of their knowledge of pumpkins and how much they love us and our crazy hobby!:)

Be careful catching John on the phone though,,,,, he loves to get off topic and will talk your ear off! In a good way of course.

8/2/2022 11:48:50 PM

Total Posts: 7 Current Server Time: 10/1/2022 11:24:17 PM
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