- Do not wait until the last minute. The best time to sample is in the summer of fall.
- Take cores from at least 15 to 20 spots randomly over the field to obtain a representative sample. One sample should not represent more than 10 to 20 acres.
- Sample between rows. Avoid old fence rows, dead furrows, and other spots that are not representative of the whole field.
- Take separate samples from problem areas if they can be treated separately.
- In cultivated fields, sample to plow depth.
- Take two samples from no-till fields: one to a 6 inch depth for lime and fertilizer recommendations, and one to a 2-inch depth to monitor surface acidity.
- Sample permanent pastures to a 3- to 4-inch depth.
- Collect the samples in a clean container.
- Mix the core samplings, allow to air-dry, and remove roots and stones.
- Fill the soil test mailing container.
- Complete the information sheet, giving all of the information requested. Be sure to include the soil name. Remember, the recommendations can be only as good as the information supplied.