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Fact Sheets Soil Sampling for Soil Quality

Before you can decide how you are going to soil sample you need to be clear about the purpose of your sampling. Different sampling approaches may be required depending on what you are sampling for, the soil type, the management unit (e.g. paddock), soil spatial variability (changes in soil type, dunes-swales etc), the accuracy required of the result, and the value given to the information provided. So before you start, define very clearly the question you are asking of your soil samples. Consult a professional soil scientist, agronomist or your analytical laboratory to be sure that your soil samples are taken at the right time, from the right depth, the right place, in the appropriate number, and are stored in such way that the analysis required is not compromised. If quantitative soil analyses (kg/ha) are required then soil bulk density must also be measured and this requires considerable care.

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