How To Test Your Farm Soil in 5 Easy Steps

How To Test Your Farm Soil in 5 Easy Steps

We’re often asked, “How do you take a soil sample properly?”. Since most agricultural organisations recommend that every farmer test their soil every 4-5 years if they want to increase crop field and lower fertiliser costs, it’s essential to know how to do it.

In this article, we will walk you through the 5 simple steps to getting your soil tested.

Plotting the Land

Firstly, if you don’t have one already, get a map of their land. Plot out the map to highlight the different fields or plots. When the soil plots are set, get a soil corer and boxes from your Co-Op, Teagasc or Ag Advisor. You should fill one box for each field or plot, so make sure to mark each soil box with the field identity number.

Taking the Sample

The next step requires you to take a sample in each one of your fields or plots. Using the corer, fill the sample box with 28-30 cores in the shape of a W across your field, 7 for each straight line in the letter W. Walk 4-5 steps between taking each core. Take samples to a depth of 10 cm. Close each box.

Remember to avoid soil sampling if the ground is saturated or unusually dry and avoid sampling around gateways, ditches and troughs.

Ordering Your Soil Test with Southern Scientific

Log onto and click on sample forms. Click “Sample Forms” and download our submission form for soils.

In the form, fill out your soil type, soil tests needed, details of cropping, contact details, Ag Advisor or Co-Op details and add your signature.

While you’re online, you can also pay for the samples online in advance of sending them. Under “Services”, click “Soil and Agricultural Material Testing”. Click on “Agricultural Soil”, choose your needed suite.

At Southern Scientific, we group our soil tests into suites based on combinations of tests that customers are likely to order together.  

For example, Suite One is a basic soil suite – pH, lime requirement, P and K. Whereas Suite eight is a more advanced suite, including pH, lime requirement, P and K and magnesium and organic matter
suitable for both grassland and tillage.

Make sure to read the test description before adding to the basket and completing your payment.

Send Your Samples to Southern Scientific

There are many ways for you to get your soil sample to us. You can send it by post, drop it in by hand or courier it to our laboratory at this address:

Unit B5, 4Park Business Centre, Farranfore, Co. Kerry, Ireland. V93 E220.

We will send you a confirmation email when your samples have been received.

Receive Your Results

Once we receive your soil samples, we will carry out the requested tests at our ISO accredited laboratories.

You will receive your results in a report format via email within 10 working days. After that, you can discuss your results with your Agricultural Consultant, who will advise you on your fertiliser requirements or help you create a nutrient management plan if necessary.

Learn More About Your Soil’s Health

We will be discussing a new area of soil health every week. If you want to continue to learn more about soil health, tune in next week when we will be discussing 5 Preventable Factors Affecting Your Crop Yield.

What Southern Scientific Services Can Do For You

Southern Scientific Services is Ireland’s largest private soil laboratory, processing over 60,000 soil samples a year. We have everything you need to get started with soil testing.

If you’re interested in getting your soil tested with a fast and accurate turnaround, Southern Scientific offers a range of soil analysis suites.

To Learn More:

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