Critical to obtaining representative laboratory values is the need for proper sampling. Regardless of the type of manure storage system, following proper sampling guidelines will be necessary to obtain information that can be used to adjust fertilizer recommendations accurately.
Liquid Manure Systems
Agitate the contents of the storage facility thoroughly. If the material is to be hauled immediately, a composite sample taken from several loads is recommended. A container on the end of a long pole works well to subsample as the manure is being pumped into the top of a spreader tank. A representative sample can be taken directly from the storage facility soon after thorough agitation if hauling is to be delayed.
Solid Manure Systems
Use a push probe, auger or spade to obtain a representative sample from several places in the manure pile or pack. If the material is being loaded for spreading, a sample can be obtained by subsampling several spreader loads. Place the one to two pound sample in a 0.5 to 1 quart screw top plastic bottle and freeze.
Care should be taken to use only the manure sample bottles that we provide and fill them to no more than ¾ full. Make sure the lids are secured tight and place the bottle in the zip lock bag for added protection. Ship the sample as soon as possible or freeze prior to shipping. Utilize shipping methods that will get the sample to the Arcadia Lab in a timely manner. Avoid mail routes that will take in excess of two days. Do not use glass jars, peanut butter jars, or unapproved containers as they can fail in shipping.
See pages 1-4 of “Recommended Methods of Manure Analysis” for more information on manure sampling procedures.
Manure samples can be shipped via USPS with pre-paid shipping labels that we provide or dropped off at any of our other lab locations for shipping to the Arcadia lab at our expense.