Seeking Soils with Acidic pH(<5.8) for soil pH and Lime Requirement Research

The University of Delaware Soil Testing Program and the Penn State Agricultural Analytical Services Laboratory are seeking soil samples for a research project related to improving soil pH measurements and lime recommendations. Specifically, we need approximately 30 low pH soils collected from across Pennsylvania and the Delmarva to represent a variety of soil types and cropping systems.

What do we need?

A 5-gallon bucket of topsoil collected from the top 6-inches of the soil from agricultural fields, with documented soil pH of 6.0. or lower that has not received lime in at least two years (>3 years preferred).

The sample can be collected from a single location in the field (no need to take a random sample).

Please remove plant residues from the sample.

Please collect the soil when it is relatively dry.

Please provide the latitude and longitude from the sample location (or a precise address) so that we can obtain soil series information. Exact locations of the samples collected will not be shared beyond the project team.

When do we need it?

Preferably by late July 2023.

We need to receive soils early enough that we can dry and homogenize them prior to starting the research in Fall 2023.

Where do we bring the soil samples?

You can drop off the samples at any UD Extension office or the UD Soil Testing Lab. When dropping off a sample, please label the bucket with the following: “UD Soil pH Study c/o Amy Shober”, your name, where the sample was collected, and a contact number (or email).

For individuals located farther from a UD Extension Office or Newark main campus, we will arrange a sample pick up or have the samples shipped to Newark at no cost to you.

Who do I contact to arrange sample pick up or if I have additional questions?

Delmarva – Amy Shober (

Pennsylvania – John Spargo (