FAQ: Soil Sampling
Q. When is the best time of the year to soil sample?
A. September to March
Q. What is the typical soil sampling area?
A. It is recommended to take a soil sample every 2 to 4ha. Divide fields based on soil type, cropping history, known growth differences / previous performance etc.
Q. How often should I take soil samples?
A. Soil nutrient status changes relatively slowly, therefore base fertiliser advice on soils tests for 4 to 5 years
Q. What areas of fields should I avoid when sampling?
A. Avoid areas such spots as gate ways, dung / urine patches, old field boundaries, where lime / FYM has been heaped in the past.
Q. What is the correct depth for soil sampling?
A. Sample soils to 10cm (100mm).
Q. How long should one leave between soil sampling and P and K applications?
A. Leave 3 to 6 months
Q. How long should one leave between soil sampling and lime applications?
A. Leave 2 years
Q. How many soil cores are required to make up a soil sample?
A. Take a minimum of 20 soil cores per soil sample
Q. What elements should be requested for analysis from the laboratory?
A. Generally a standard soil test will have pH, Lime advice, P & K. Additional nutrients (Mg, Cu, Mn, Zn & B) are available at additional cost depending on the nutrient information / advice required.
Q. What is the typical cost of soil analysis?
A. A standard soil test will cost as little as €0.50c/ac/year