Winter Soil Sampling: You Need the Right Tools

Snowfall in late October and November slowed harvest and soil sampling across the region. This means some fields will be soil sampled in December and maybe January as harvest for late-season crops continues in the snow.

The right equipment is the key to any project, and winter soil sampling is no different. AGVISE heavy-duty (HD) chromoly soil probes were designed for hard, frozen soil conditions. Chromoly steel is much tougher than stainless steel, and it handles the stress of sampling frozen soil. To punch through several inches of frost, you will also require additional weight. Most soil sampling trucks have the hydraulic cylinder mounted inside the truck cab, where you can take advantage of the entire truck weight to push through the frost. This enables you to take soil samples through 4 to 6 inches of frost on most medium- and fine-textured soils in winter. For receiver hitch-mounted hydraulic cylinders, you will need to add extra weight in the truck box, and it may limit you to pushing through only 1 to 3 inches of frost.

AGVISE offers wet and dry soil probe tips for the HD chromoly soil probe. The wet soil probe tip is best suited for frozen soils. The HD chromoly soil probe is available with or without a slot.

You can view examples of in-cab and receiver hitch-mounted hydraulic soil sampling systems on our website ( You can also find videos of soil sampling in frozen soils with the HD chromoly soil probe and wet soil probe tip.