Soil testing

The first place to start with any nutrient management program is with a soil test. Start with a representative composite soil sample. Remember, your results are only as good as your sample.

Before taking your samples, evaluate the field for differences such as; soil type, past management, cropping history, topography or field size. If the field is uniform, a sample can represent up to 10-15 acres. The equipment you will need to take a sample includes a 10-12 qt. plastic pail, shovel or soil probe. (Local Extension offices may have them for loan). For each sample, collect 20 subsamples from across the field. Take the samples in a zigzag pattern. Mix these together to get the sample you will send to the lab.