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Friday, September 17, 2010

Field tools for sampling and investigation.

I use a soil probe made by JM Clements and Associates. Sample tubes can be bought with a wet or dry tip. The wet tip is more tapered and constricted. in certain soils, augers, mud augers, bucket augers, and dutch augers may be more effective. I can probe deeper by adding extensions. Usually my probe just pushes into the ground. I have it marked with a file to make sure I get right at 7 inches of topsoil for fertility sampling. Sometimes I carry 2 probes. One with a wet tube and one with a dry.

I have a 10 pound slide hammer for hard soils and deeper investigations. I have only used it once. It is awkward to use, but great to have when you need it.

I have heavy handle for hammering on. usually topsoil is soft enough to probe, by hand, but I have used this for fertility sampling in very dry soils.

I use an ATV to get around in the field most of the time. In late spring, early summer, corn sometimes gets ahead of us and we need to walk. I love my Honda. If I were designing something from scratch to use in the field, I don't think I could come up with anything better.

I have several GPS's, but this Juniper by Archer is ruggedized and can take a lot of abuse. I have a Garmin wireless receiver to use with it.

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