Applying fertilizer to a crop without first pulling a soil sample is a tremendous waste of time and money. You are not saving money by not soil sampling. In fact you can be wasting a great deal of money if you use the wrong amount of the right fertilizer or any amount of the wrong fertilizer. Believe me, nobody can look at the soil surface and tell what your crop needs.
For those of you who do sample, I would remind you to pay for a full analysis, not a partial. Some people think that if they test for just pH, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus they will be covered. It is not that simple. More times than not a crop will respond to one of the minor nutrients more than the major ones. So don’t be cheap; buy the complete sample not a partial.
With the high cost of fertilizer it just makes good common sense to do a complete sample every year. If you don’t understand what all the numbers mean, contact a professional agronomist for help. The few dollars you may pay for help can easily save you thousands.