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tilled soil

Soil analysis provides a measure of the quantity of nutrients available to the crop. We will analyse the content of available Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), pH (Lime) and trace elements.

 

In addition to the above, a glasshouse soil can be analysed for NO3 and E.C.

Top Tip - ''Sample at regular intervals, walking in an extended ‘W’ pattern across the whole sampling unit area. Adjust the angle of the ‘W’ to suit the shape of the field''.

Loam sampling is carried out throughout the year. Fields larger than 10 ha (25ac) need to be split and more than one sample taken.

Fields should also be split into separate sampling units if the:

• Area has been split cropped in the past

• Soil types vary significantly

Guidelines for loam sampling

• Area was recently several small fields

• Area incorporates old cottage gardens or allotments, etc.

• A poor patch was identified and mapped in the last crop

At least 25 cores are needed however small the area to be sampled.

The analytical results will only be meaningful if an adequate and representative soil sample is taken. We require a minimum soil sample weight of 0.5kg; the preferred soil sample is 1kg.

Soil sampling requirements

Agricultural Soil Analysis

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Remove any surface plants prior to sampling. Avoid sampling within three months of fertiliser application or twelve months of lime application. Take care to avoid areas where previously there have been manure heaps, feeding rings, water bowsers, areas where animals congregated or within the proximity of trees. If it is felt necessary, sample these separately.

 

Sample at regular intervals, walking in an extended 'W' pattern across the whole sampling unit area. Adjust the angle of the 'W' to suit the shape of the field.

 

At least 25 cores are needed, however small the area to be sampled.

 

Sample with a narrow diameter corer to a depth of approximately 15cm (6"). On stubble, sample to plough depth for maximum accuracy. Put the cores from one sample area into a polythene bag and secure it to prevent cross contamination from other samples. Each sample bag of soil should weigh a minimum of 0.5kg and ideally around 1kg. Too large a sample requires sub-sampling in the laboratory for analytical analysis which can then introduce unnecessary error, especially on wet heavy samples.

Advice for loam sampling

Sampling up to 10 acres - £10.00. Loam surcharge of 25p per acre, up to 50 acres.