Soil & Soil Health Analysis | Traditional Sampling Procedure

Traditional Sampling Procedure

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

Traditional Soil Sampling Procedure

  1. To take a soil sample, you will need a soil probe, soil auger, or shovel and a clean plastic bucket.
  2. Collect 10 to 15 cores (if using a probe or auger) or furrow slices (if using a spade) 0 to 6 or 0 to 8 inches deep from a representative area. 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.
    If sampling for TraceBIO testing, select samples from H/M/L productivity areas of the field or other areas of specific interest.
  3. Surface soil samples should be taken to an 8-inch depth.
  4. Subsoil samples should be taken from 8 to 36 inches or 8 to 24 inches and 24 to 36 inches to test for residual nitrate.
  5. If cropping, fertilizing, and/or liming has not been applied uniformly in a field, then a separate sample should be taken from each management or soil area. If soil areas within a field are different in appearance (slope, drainage, color, or texture) each area should be sampled separately. Small areas may not need to be sampled, but they will give some indication of the variation within the field.
  6. Composite surface soil samples should consist of a mixture of about 10 to 15 soil cores. Composite subsoil samples for the nitrate test should consist of 8 to 10 cores. Mix these cores thoroughly and fill the sample bag. Label the bag correctly and use this same identification on the soil information sheet.
  7. Sample separately to avoid such areas as dead furrows, alkali spots and terrace channels.
  8. Cloth or paper soil test bags or a quart size zip lock bag may be used. Include soil sample information sheets with all necessary information.
  9. Samples can be mailed to PO Box 788, Kearney, NE 68848 or shipped to or dropped off at 4007 Cherry Ave., Kearney, NE 68847.
  10. 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 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.

Order Sampling Supplies | Questions?