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Best Management Practices – Soil Testing

Quick fact sheet to explain soil testing. 

  • A sound fertilizer or manure recommendation depends on a quality soil sample.
  • A composite soil sample should represent a uniform field area.
  • Use a systematic sampling scheme, and a minimum of 15 subsamples throughout the field, regardless of acreage.
  • Sampling depth depends on the crop and the tillage depth.
  • Sample most fields every year for nitrate analyses.
  • Thoroughly air dry all soil samples within 12 hours after sampling.
  • See Selecting an Analytical Laboratory for important information on choosing a reputable lab.