Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Soil sampling has been a subject of much study over the past years and has been undertaken for many different purposes. In the agricultural industry, soil sampling is undertaken mostly for the sake of evaluating soil fertility potentials to aid in making fertilizer recommendations. The need for better soil sampling is illustrated by the fact that inadequate sampling often leads to improper use of fertilizer by farmers. The samples are collected and brought to the soil testing laboratories where they are chemically analyzed for the main plant food elements. Fertilizer recommendations based on the soil test results may either be an aid or hindrance to the farmer depending on whether or not the samples reproduce the soils in the fields. The present outcry against indiscriminate use of fertilizer as a source of water pollution dictates a need for research to develop techniques and methods of soil sampling which would be able farmers to collect representative samples. This in turn would lead to appropriate fertilizer recommendations. At present, there are many methods and technique which are being used in collecting soil samples. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the variation in soil test results caused by individual samplers and to see if the use of appropriate sampling directions can reduce this variation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soils -- Sampling

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University