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Sample Processing

In my previous post, I mentioned processing the samples taken in the field for my personal project on zone tillage depth. I first put them through a grinder, as the soil needs to be fine in order to analyze it in the lab. Once this is done, it is brought to the lab where 10 grams of each sample is weighed out and separated.
Next, active carbon is added to ensure more accurate nutrient analysis. For this project, we are only testing for soil nitrate levels. Morgan’s solution is then added to each of the soil vials and thoroughly mixed together.

The samples then are put through a very fine filter in order to separate the solution from the solids in the soil. Small amounts of each of the sample solutions are then taken in order to be analyzed by the computer. This process is quite time consuming, however many samples are able to be done at once. At a glance, it does not seem like there is a significant difference between the numbers. Now the next step is to organize these results and see if any conclusions can be made.

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