Soil & Soil Health Analysis | Soil Health Sampling Procedure

Soil Health Testing

Follow the procedure below to help increase your soil’s productivity and maximize your yields.

Soil Health Sampling Procedure

  1. Collect all your samples for comparison on the same day if possible. Samples may be collected on different days but try to keep sampling events to one week or less if comparisons are to be made between the samples. This reduces changes that may take place if moisture or temperature fluctuates between sampling times.
  2. Use a standard soil core sampler. DO NOT use any form of lubricants on the soil core sampler.
  3. Take 10 to 15 cores 0 to 6 inches or 0 to 8 inches deep next to the plants or near the rooting structures. You may also choose the same depth that is normally used for a topsoil sample if it is consistent. Composite samples of 10 to 15 cores at 0 to 6 or 0 to 8 inches can be used to represent an area up to 40 acres. If soil types vary greatly within a field, we recommend using zone sampling to isolate differences in soil types.
  4. Combine all the cores, preferably in a zip lock freezer bag or plastic-lined paper soil bag. DO NOT use cloth bags for submitting soil health samples.
  5. Add all sample identification information you need to the sample bag and place in a cooler (a Styrofoam cooler with a lid works fine) or a regular box if shipment times are relatively quick.
  6. Mark each sample and the shipping container with the specific soil health test(s) you wish to run to ensure proper handling once the sample arrives at the lab.
  7. If sampling for PLFA analysis when temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, freeze samples prior to shipping and use dry ice/ice packs unless shipping overnight. 
  8. Samples can be mailed to PO Box 788, Kearney, NE 68848 or shipped to or dropped off at 4007 Cherry Ave., Kearney, NE 68847.
  9. Your results will be emailed once completed. Turnaround time varies by analysis and season, but most sample results will be sent within 1-3 days of the samples arriving at the lab. You will receive an invoice with the results, payable by check, credit card or through our online portal.

Download Submittal Form

Ready to submit your Soil Health sample?

Download the submittal form and make sure you include your name, address, phone number, sample ID, and desired analysis. Email address is suggested for rapid return on reports.

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