How to Take a Soil Sample
Please Note: All equipment must be clean
Step 1 – Choose Locations
Choose various areas in the field that represent the soil in the whole field. Suggestion: 15 locations in a 20-acre field. Crop land and pasture land should be sampled separately.
Step 2 – Prepare Equipment
Use a clean spade, auger or soil probe. Stainless steel probes are available for purchase from Lancaster Ag at cost. Use a clean plastic bucket in which to place the samples.
Step 3 – Collect Samples
Scrape away any surface residue. Bore down 5 inches with the probe and place sample into bucket or dig a 5-inch v-shaped hole with a spade. Cut a slice of soil making sure to include soil from top, middle and bottom of hole. Place in bucket.
Step 4 – Mix Samples
Thoroughly mix all of the samples together in the bucket.
Step 5 – Fill & Label Bag
Place 2 cups of soil in the soil sample bag provided, up to the line. Clearly print the following on the bag: full name, complete address (including house number and name of street or road), number of acres or square feet of area, name or number of sample.
Step 6 – Draw Map
Making a map of the locations in your fields where you obtained your samples is very helpful. Send one copy with the sample and keep one copy for your records.
Step 7 – Mail Sample
Mail sample bag to Lancaster Ag Products, 60 N. Ronks Road, Ronks, PA 17572. After your sample reaches us, a copy of your results will be available in 7-10 days. Please contact us at 717-687-9222 to discuss recommendations. A copy of your results will be mailed to you and a copy will be kept on file at Lancaster Ag.
How to Take a Forage Sample
Please Note: Forage samples are time-critical
Taking a Sample from a Baled Product
- Thrust the probe into the center of the bale
- Pull a sample from as near the center as possible
- Place samples in a plastic bag
Taking a Sample from a Loose Product
- Reach into the pile to a depth of several inches
- Pull samples from several different areas
- Place samples in a plastic bag
Mail samples to Lancaster Ag Products, 60 North Ronks Road, Ronks, PA 17572 or bring samples to the Retail Store as soon as possible. Lancaster Ag will have your test results in approximately two days from the time we receive your sample. A copy of your results will be mailed to you and a copy will be kept on file at Lancaster Ag.
How to Take a Tissue Test
Please Note: Tissue samples are time-critical
Step 1 – Collection
Pull 20 leaves from a plant or tree. The type of information you want will determine the location on the plant or tree from where you will pull the leaves. Please be consistent.
- Information about the past: pull leaves from the bottom, mid-branch
- Information about the present: pull leaves from the mid-plant, mid-leaf
- Information about the future: pull leaves from the top, new branch, mid-leaf
Step 2 – Storage
Place leaves in bags that breathe, such as brown paper bags or bags that have holes, so that the samples start to air dry before they get to the lab. Ask your Lancaster Ag Representative for special bags for your tissue samples.
Step 3 – Labeling
Write full name and complete address (including house number and street or road name) on the bag. Include a description of your fertilization practices up to this point.
Step 4 – Delivery
Your Lancaster Ag Representative can deliver the samples after a farm visit, if schedules permit or please ship them to Lancaster Ag Products, 60 N. Ronks Road, Ronks, PA 17572. Note: Producers out of the local area need to use one-day shipping service.
Step 5 – Analysis
Lancaster Ag processes the samples for analysis the same day they arrive in our office. These samples are timecritical.