Why don’t my split soil samples give the same value?

There are lots of reasons for variation in soil sample results. But it is still the best way to know what nutrients are available in your soil before you plant the crop


It’s not uncommon to hear reports of someone who wanted to check the performance of a soil test lab by splitting a soil sample and sending it to two labs. Often, widely different results are obtained from each lab. Does this mean soil testing is flawed?

Not at all, but there is a certain level of variability in soil testing that needs to be understood to interpret the results of these differences.

Better Farming - April 2012