UACES Facebook Soil Sampling 2012 - November 2012

Soil Sampling 2012 - November 2012

You Tube - Link to watch video on You Tube.Link to transcript

Audio/Video Script:

Hello, I’m Randy Chlapecka with the Jackson County Extension Service. I’m county extension agent in Jackson County. Today we’re here at the Newport Research Station and we’re going to talk about soil sampling. [Randy Chlapecka taking soil samples using a soil probe in a field.]

[University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Randy Chlapecka, County Extension Agent, Jackson County, Arkansas]

No. 1, you need to have a good soil-sampling probe. I’ve got one here in my hand. This is a real basic probe.  There are a lot of other probes out there that have a lot of other features on them that may make them a little more easy to use. They can do some other things. But this is a very basic one. Shop around, look in catalogs, online and you can find the best soil probe for your situation. [Randy pushes a probe into the ground and puts soil sample into a bucket.]

The second thing we need to think about is the timing of taking the soil sample. Obviously, probably the best time of the year to do that would be during the fall and winter, between harvest of the previous crop and the planting of the next crop. So anywhere in that September to October range all the way up to about March is probably the best time of the year to take soil samples. [Slide - Collect soil samples between October and March]

One key thing to remember, if you’re sampling a field, try to take a sample from that particular field at the same time every time you sample, whether it’s a three-year cycle on whatever you’re sampling on, be sure to take that sample at the same time of the year if possible. Of course weather can dictate that, but try to take it at the same time of the year and also following the same crop in that rotation. For example, if you’re in a rice/bean rotation, take it after one or the other crops every time that you’re taking the soil samples. That’s real important. [Slide - Collect your soil samples at the same time each year]

Another thing to remember and to keep in mind is to take the samples from the proper sampling depth.  For soybeans, we recommend a zero to 4-inch sample. Make a mark on your soil probe at about 4 inches, or some probes even have washers welded on them or something like that to get that proper depth. So remember, take your samples from zero to 4 inches for soybeans. [Slide - Collect soil samples from 0-4 inches in depth]

And finally, be sure and take about 15 to 25 cores to make a composite sample. Research has shown that you need at least 15 cores to make one good composite sample. So somewhere in between 15 and 25 cores, and you’ll have you a good composite sample. [Randy walks around in a field and uses a soil probe to gather soil samples from different areas of the field. Video shows a bucket of soil samples.]

Soil sampling is a free service through the Cooperative Extension Service. Samples are tested down at Marianna at the soil testing lab there.  We have soil boxes available at each county extension office in the state, so if you need more information or have questions, feel free to contact your county extension agent, or you can go online to

[ University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board]


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