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Sampling Fields < 10 Acres


Materials required:

  • An apple corer or pipe that is about 0.5 to 1.5" interior diameter

  • One resealable plastic bag per sample to be analyzed

  • Permanent marker to label bags

  • Sterilized plastic bucket

1. Take 3 soil cores from each of 5 areas per acre, selecting these at random, ensuring that they are well distributed over the area of the field you are working on. Bring a bucket to keep all the soil cores. Avoid going right to the boundary of the field and to any areas that are not representative of the field e.g. a ridge line or depression that tends to get waterlogged. To take a sample, move aside any plant matter, dead or alive, that is lying on the soil. Use your tool to carefully take a 3" deep sample. Place all of these samples in the same bucket.


2. Gently mix the samples in the bucket. Since you will be taking a smaller amount out to place in a plastic bag to mail in, they need to be mixed enough to get a representative sample of the areas you collected soil cores from but not so mixed that the soil biology has been damaged.

3. Fill a plastic bag 1/3 to 1/2 of the way full and then seal the bag. It is very important not expel the air from the bag as this will limit the oxygen available to the biology in the sample which may result in anaerobic conditions being formed.


4. All sample bags should be labeled with the name, area, date, and time collected on the *outside* using a

permanent marker or an affixed label. Please do not put any identifying information about your

sample on a piece of paper and place it inside the bag. The paper will disintegrate, become food

for microbes, and potentially change the biology of your sample. 


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