Soils are a vital piece of a healthy pasture. In Central Kentucky, we are blessed with highly productive soils, but understanding and maintaining this resource can be a challenge. 

Soil Mapping – Our team utilizes USDA’s Web Soil Survey to create soil maps of your farm.  These maps illustrate the soil types present and suggest potential carrying capacity of equine operations. This information tells farm managers how many horses the farm can support. Web Soil Survey is a free program and available to all farms in the US simply by visiting .  

Soil Sampling – Proper soil fertility is essential to a healthy and productive pasture and begins with soil sampling.  Routine sampling and testing allows farm managers to apply needed nutrients. Under fertilization results in reduced forage productivity, increased weed presence and increased erosion.  Over application of fertilizers is costly, and is likely to wash into nearby streams and lakes, damaging local aquatic ecosystems.

 Soil Sampling is provided by your local county extension agent. Contact your agent for soil sampling supplies and return samples to the extension office.  For a small fee (or in many counties free), your samples will be shipped to the UK laboratory. Results are returned in about 2 weeks with recommended fertilization plans. Contact your Kentucky county extension agent.