Sampling is a key stage in soil analysis. Proper collection and preparation of the sample gives the assurance of obtaining reliable test results. In order to ensure the highest accuracy and representativeness as well as to accelerate the sampling process, automatic samplers are currently used to collect soil samples.
Laboratorium Ekodarpol has a modern device, WINTEX 2000, allowing simultaneous collection of samples from two depths: 0-30cm and 30-60cm. The collection points are determined using a computer with GPS technology, and each of them is used to develop isoline maps showing the zones of abundance of individual soil components. The maps are the basis of precision fertilization. In the case of re-analysis, the device allows collection of samples from the same places and observation of changes in the soil’s nutrient content.
Stages of automatic soil sampling
- Measurement of the test area
Field size measurement is performed using GPS navigation and is the basis for determining the sampling pattern.
- Determination of the number and size of rasters
After preparing the area map, the sectors for the collection of bulk samples, so-called rasters, are determined. According to Polish Standards, the size of a single raster cannot be larger than 4 ha. However, it should be remembered that the smaller the rasters, the better the bulk sample represents the nutrient content of the tested area. We make divisions into 1, 2, 3 and 4 ha rasters.
- Sampling in a given raster
Each raster has 15-20 collection points drawn on it. Next, according to the prepared map, the soil is probed at each designated point, and the sample taken is transferred to a special collection container.
- Preparation of a laboratory sample
One bulk sample is prepared from each raster by mixing the soil from individual collection points. The sample is transferred into appropriate packaging and marked with an identification number, and then passed on to the Laboratory.
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