Updated: March 4, 2021

Soil Sampling for the PSNT

How do I sample for the PSNT?

  1. Use a soil probe to take your PSNT samples.
  2. Take soils samples that are 12 inches deep (this is the approximate depth of the corn roots).Take soil samples that are 12 inches deep for the PSNT.
  3. Collect 30-40 samples randomly throughout the field.
  4. Put all the samples in a clean plastic bucket, making sure to break up any clods and mix very well.
  5. Collect a sub-sample by scooping soil from several different spots in the bucket. You'll need about 1 cup of soil for the analysis.
  6. Label the bag/container with the field name(s) from which the samples were taken.
  7. Take the soil to your local Extension office as soon as possible. If you can't take it the same day it's collected, spread the subsample out on plastic or newspaper to dry. This will prevent molding which may affect your results.

Where is the best place to sample for the PSNT? 

The best place to take soil samples for the PSNT is from the row middles. Do not take samples in the row between the corn plants. You do not want to "contaminate" your sample with fertilizer from the starter band.

Samples should be collected from random locations throughout the field - don't concentrate sample taking in one small area of the field.

What if I have many fields? 

If you have many corn fields that have been treated the same way (same crop rotation and manure applications) it is not necessary to have each field analyzed separately. You can combine the fields for the analysis - just make sure you pull some soil samples from each field that you want to include in the management unit. For example, if you want to combine 3 fields, take 10 soil samples from each of the 3 fields.

Contact your University of Maryland Extension Nutrient Management Advisor today to reserve a soil probe for sampling.