Optimal Acre


The productive capacity of soil varies, even within a single field. By understanding variations through soil testing and other means, we can create a plan to give each acre only the inputs needed to produce its optimal yield.

 Over the long term, this precision ag strategy has a strong potential to improve yields, reduce input costs, and maximize ROI. But in the short term there can be a significant capital investment, which can act as a barrier to entry. 

Optimal Acre helps you implement and benefit from precision ag strategies immediately by spreading the cost of the program over four years.

Optimal Acre

  • $3.75/ac per year for four years
  • 2.5-acre grid soil sampling
  • Variable-rate prescriptions (fertilizer, lime, seed, other inputs)
  • Product trial prescriptions and analysis
  • Climate FieldView assistance

Optimal Acre Lite

  • $3.25/ac per year for four years
  • 2.5-acre grid soil sampling
  • VRT fertilizer scripts only
  • Climate FieldView assistance


Building fertility, building knowledge

Optimal Acre provides a baseline of underlying soil fertility for each field or farm. Once this is known, we can make customized fertility prescriptions to bring the soil to a level best suited for growing crops.

 Optimal Acre also provides analysis of yield data and incorporation of yield data into soil fertility recommendations. Ultimately, we can make the most accurate recommendations available.

Variable-rate apply fertilizer and lime

The cost of inputs makes it important to properly manage fertilizer and lime applications. Variable-rate technology (VRT) allows us to apply fertilizer across a field according to the needs of the crop and the potential of the soil.

  • VRT is a great start to the Optimal Acre Program for any producer.
  • You can optimize input costs by applying more product where soil nutrients are deficient and applying either less or none where they are sufficient.
  • VRT fertilizer prescriptions are created from GPS grid soil sampling for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sulfur, and other nutrients, as well as lime for pH.
  • Mid-West Fertilizer uses non-crop-specific fertilizer recommendations to make the recommendation process very simple and consistent over the four-year lifecycle of the grid samples, which allows better planning and forward contracting of products.
  • At Mid-West Fertilizer, we promise you the best experience around grid sampling and variable-rate applications, while still maintaining a high degree of accuracy with our years of experience in both Ag Tech and custom variable-rate applications.

Example: Conventional versus variable rate

In the fall, we pulled a typical composite sample on a field for a grower. After reviewing the soil test results with a strategic account manager, the grower decided to pursue a grid sample on the field.

  • The composite sample showed a pH of 5.2 but the grid samples revealed the pH was anywhere from 5.0 to 7.9.
  • The composite sample showed a phosphorus level of 24ppm while the grids revealed it to be anywhere from 17 to 60ppm.

These sample results display the common variability on most fields that are far from the ideal pH range of 6.5 and 30-35ppm phosphorus for most crops.

Additional findings include:

  • Comparing recommendations between the composite sample and the grid sample would have resulted in only 3% of acres receiving the correct application rate of lime.
  • The grid results also showed 11 acres of the field did not need lime applied, which saved the grower $1,105.50. Ultimately, the savings paid for the grid sample testing. Similar savings and results were found with the VRT phosphorus application.
  • Similar savings and results were found with the VRT phosphorus application.