The Thrill of Soil Sampling!

From what I've read in Facebook groups and heard from folks, soil sampling isn't something anyone wants to do. But, the results from a well-executed soil sample, can tell you what your soil is lacking and give you some ideas for how to manage to improve the situation. It can also tell you if your management is making a difference as you'll have measurements that you can compare over time. What could be more thrilling than that? So, if you're growing a crop or pasture, you need to know how to take a good soil sample. Here Dr. Eddie Funderburg of the Noble Research Institute, shows you how. Tools You'll Need If you don't mind the extra work, you can take soil samples using your sharp shooter shove. But it's much easier if you buy or borrow a soil sampling probe. (Check with your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office, and while you're there, ask them for recommendations about where to send you sample for analysis.) Add a bucket for collecting the cores and you're ready to go. Multiple Cores at the Right Depth Are Critical One core can't tell you how your whole field or pasture is doing. So you'll take ten to fifteen cores and mix them up in your bucket. Because nutrients are stratified in soils, with more at the top and fewer at greater depth, your cores should be 6 inches deep. If your core is shallower, it will look like you have more nutrients than you actually do. If you take it deeper than 6 inches it will look like you have fewer nutrients. Marki

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