Q2. What planning or preparation is needed in deciding on the soil sample site? A paddock/small plot? Random.

Answer:  Sampling is based on soil type; vegetation types indicating a change in the soil; elevation. Soil on hill tops is different in composition of sand, silt and clay from the soil in the alluvial flats and the biology will also be different. By knowing the differences in your land and vegetation, sampling is carried out based on those differences because the management programme will be different to maximise soil health and productivity. Once the areas are understood, then sampling should reflect the block or paddock. Thirty 10cm cores can be collected in an X shape across the block or a W shape to represent the whole area. Mix these cores together very well and choose a representative 1kg of soil. This can be sent for chemistry testing and for biology. This first set of reports forms the base line chemistry and biology and helps to understand what needs to be done to get the soil biology functioning for maximum productivity regardless of the enterprise, cultivation or grazing

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