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Plant sampling guidelines: Proper plant sampling techniques are essential for meaningful evaluation of crop fertility. Be sure to use clean sample bags which breathe freely. Collect a sufficient number of samples to represent the field—at least 25 to 30. Collect the samples from representative parts of the field. Stay away from odd areas unless they are to be sample separately. Collect the correct portion of the plant.
Soil testing provides an index for the nutrient availability in soil and is a critical step in nutrient management planning. It has become an important tool for assessing soil fertility and arriving at proper fertilizer recommendations. It is also a valuable management aid for studying soil changes resulting from cropping practices and for diagnosing specific cropping problems.