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Brown County

Soil Tests: Agriculture & Crops


  • Soil Probe(can be requested from the Brown County Extension Office)
  • Clean Pail or Bucket
  • Soil Sample Containers (paper bags with labels provided by the Extension Office or use quart sized plastic bags)
  • Soil Sample Information Sheet

Step 1

Draw a map of the area to be sampled on the information sheet and divide your fields into uniform areas. Each area should have the same soil texture, color, slope, and previous fertilization and cropping history. Avoid sampling in old fence rows, dead furrows, low spots, feeding areas, and other areas that might give unusual results.

Step 2

From each area, take a sample consisting of 20 to 30 cores or slices, mix thoroughly in a clean container. Fill one soil container from this mixture, and discard the rest. Repeat for each desired testing area. Depth recommendations are as follows:

  • On long term reduced till or no-till fields, a split sample from the top 6 inches (i.e. 0 to 3 inches and 3 to 6 inches) is encouraged to assess pH and nutrient stratification near the surface.
  • All row crops should be sampled to 6 inch depth and all permanent sod to 4 inches.
  • For available nitrogen, chloride, or sulfur tests, please gather a sample of soil from 24 inches.

Step 3

Be sure to label the soil container clearly with a Sample ID and record each Sample ID on the information sheet. Choose a package or specific soil test to be performed for each sample listed on the information sheet.

Step 4

Air drying samples is recommended but not required. Do not use heat to dry soil samples as it may compromise accurate results. Drop off samples and information sheets at the Brown County Extension Office. Results will be mailed to address listed on information sheet with an invoice to include soil test price and postage.