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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Soil Sample Collection

Recognize the problem

Soil testing is important in estimating the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. It will help to decide the exact nutrient requirement for the crop. It also provides information on the existing nutrient status after harvest.


Soil testing helps to record the available nutrients in the soil. Based on the soil testing results, precise requirement for each crop can be calculated.

The results can also give the farmer an idea about what crops are most suitable for the field according to the availability of nutrients. This scientific method saves the cost of fertilizer application as the soil will supply nutrients in an available form during the critical stages of the crop growth. This prevents unnecessary accumulation of unutilized fertilisers and thereby prevents harmful effects to the environment.


  • Walk in a zig-zag manner in the field. Remove the surface litter in 10 randomly selected locations. Using an auger or spade, make a ‘V’ shaped cut to a depth of 15 cm or according to the crop cultivation. Collect 0.5 to 1.0 kg of representative soil samples and put them in poly bags. Label the bag giving the details of the field, crop, farmer name survey number, sample number and date of collection.
  • Do not collect sample around fences, bunds, trees etc.
  • Do not collect sample during heavy rainfall, water stagnation or in fields where organic manure has been applied
  • Use of bio fertilizers could supplement 25% of the total requirement of the nutrients and also promote soil fertility in an eco-friendly manner

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: All Countries

Authors: R. Rajkumar
tel: 09865231033 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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