Then back to some work. Since AgResearch does a lot of research it also has quite some farms where it tests new strains of plants, bacteria and all kinds of other research. A phd student working in the same office I am in had quite some sampling to do and since I had to practice that sampling anyway I was asking to come along.
The site we sampled was one of the world's longest running phosphate trails, the same treatment is performed on this site for a staggering 6 0 years! The pasture has several areas where different phosphate concentrations were added to the soil. The site and its samples are used for a broad range of research, especially since trials like these are extremely rare. For me this was just a small trip to learn how to sample soil. On the picture both my supervisors are depicted, on the left Maureen, carefully holding the seal bag filled with soil samples. On the right Steve, who is taking a 10 cm deep soil sample with a diameter of 2.5 cm every 1 m spread out over the site. The samples will be sieved through a 2 mm sieve and stored at 4 C for further processing.
And that is how you make soil into a sample used on a lab :)