Pat Dumstorff (on the far left), of Trace Genomics, and Greg Reisz (standing next to Dumstorff), of E4 Crop Intelligence, introduce area farmers and agronomists to groundbreaking soil DNA testing.

WOODBINE — A free, two-hour workshop held August 15 covered the importance of soil microbiology to successful crop management.

It also introduced ground-breaking technology that provides in-depth soil biology data.

The workshop was called Soil at Work and it was held at E4 Crop Intelligence, which is based just west of Woodbine.

With 20-plus in the precision ag industry, we’ve always been diligent in our normal soil testing procedures. But until now, the results never included what microbes were working in the soil, said Greg Reisz, owner and president of E4 Crop Intelligence.

“This new tool will be a ‘game-changer’ for us,” he added. “It will give us analytics we’ve never had before to prescribe the best solutions, whether we’re looking at diseases, insect issues or overall plant health.”

Once soil samples are collected, they are sent to Trace Genomics (TG), located in Burlingame, Calif., which is about 20 minutes south of San Francisco.

The company uses a DNA extractor and sequencing process to identify and quantify millions of microbes in the soil.

The data is then decoded using high-speed, cost-efficient data analysis to compare against a growing set of soil data.

From there, TG helps growers make the best decisions for their fields based on date-driven, evidence-based info that is easily accessible on their customer portal.

Pat Dumstorff, of Trace Genomics, and Reisz are making history by being among the first to use this new soil DNA test that gives growers info they have never had before.

The workshop ran from 10 a.m. until noon that day. Lunch was provided after the workshop was completed.