Assessing the soil

An effective way to gain an understanding of the condition of the soil and assess its quality is to dig a profile pit. A profile pit provides a qualitative and coherent picture of the soil. It facilitates the interpretation of other soil measurements.

Points to consider when choosing the location of a profile pit:

  • Check out the crop growth: pick a representative spot, either homogeneous or divergent
  • Dig the pit at least 20 metres from the edges of the plot
  • Be alert for ruts, as the soil is extra compacted underneath them
  • Time of year: can be any time, but the best picture is obtained in a well-developed crop with reasonable moisture conditions.

Factors such as rooting, structure and disturbing layers can be observed and assessed in a profile pit.

In addition, “Assessing the soil” covers the following topics: