By Greg LaBarge and Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension
Simply put, the goal of soil sampling is to make a fertilizer recommendation for crop production.
- To provide that recommendation, calibration studies are done to measure crop response.
- For Ohio, the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the calibration study history for recommendation development. For 2020 we just rolled out the latest “Tri-State” recommendations.
It’s about statistics. We want to take a representative sample, meaning that the sample should represent the fertility level of the area we sampled.
- Choose sample areas in the field that have similar crop yields, crop rotation histories, fertilizer application methods and sources of applied nutrient.
- Fields or field areas with a history of livestock production (a former pasture, had manure applications or produced hay) or other unique characteristics may require a different sampling strategy.
- Field areas represented by any single sample should not be greater than 25 acres.