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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pendleton, Oregon » Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #226284

Title: An Improved Method for Soil Sampling at Small Increments

item Wuest, Stewart

Submitted to: Washington State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Wuest, S.B., W.F. Schillinger. 2008. An Improved Method for Soil Sampling at Small Increments. In 2008 Field Day Abstracts: Highlights of Research Progress. Dept. Of Crop and Soil Sciences Tech. Report 08-1, WSU, Pullman, WA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Measurement of soil bulk density and volumetric water content in small depth increments is a tedious and time-consuming task, but very important in many research applications. We designed an electric sampler to improve accuracy and decrease labor requirements. The new method works even in loose, dry soils, and can be used to provide increments at less than 0.5 inch, if desired. The sampler uses an electric linear actuator to push an intact soil core out of the sampling tube. The soil core is maintained in a vertical position and protected from fracturing by remaining inside the tube until sectioned with a saw blade. Precise length increments and flat cuts are easily obtained. Compared to existing incremental sampling technology developed 30 yrs. ago for loose, dry soil conditions, the electric sampler had a two-fold reduction in sample variability. The electric sampler requires only 7 min. to collect a 10-inch core and section it into 13 increments compared to 20 min. per core with the older sampler.