News & Insights

Don’t Dig Yourself into a Hole: Best Practices for Soil Sampling

At Trace Genomics, we want to make it as simple as possible for you to access the biological data within your soil. This outline walks you through the process from start to finish, setting you up to maximize the potential in your soil.

Getting started

When you start thinking about soil testing, you can request supplies from Trace. We’ll send you:

  • Sample collection bags
  • Shipping boxes
  • If necessary, materials for shipping USDA regulated soil
  • Pre-paid shipping labels

If you already have a TraceVIEW account, you can request supplies by clicking the “Request Supplies” button at the top of the “Orders” page. If you do not have a TraceVIEW account, please create one in order to request supplies. You can create an account by visiting and selecting “Create Account”.

Collect your soils

Before you head out to the field with your collection supplies from Trace, please look over our resources below on best practices for collecting soil samples. Additionally, you should be aware of whether or not you are collecting USDA regulated soils. 


In order to set you up for success, we have created downloadable resources for you to share, print, and take with you to the field. 

  1. A comprehensive guide to collecting soil samples for Trace Genomics, including best practices to capture pests like Soybean Cyst Nematode, detailed step by step instructions, and where to find further support.
  2. A one-page field guide to accompany you when collecting samples
What are USDA regulated soils?

Depending on your geography, you may be subject to USDA-APHIS Quarantine Regulations. If you request supplies from Trace and provide your sampling location, we will automatically send you the necessary supplies for shipping regulated soils. If you do not request supplies from Trace and are unsure whether you are in a quarantined area, please consult the USDA-APHIS map or contact us at

If you are a Canadian customer, please connect with our exclusive distributor, Taurus Ag, for support with soil export requirements.

Shipping your soils to Trace

For a detailed explanation of how to ship quarantined soils, download our guide here.

For all soils, please fill empty space in the box with filler material (packing paper, bubble wrap, etc.) to prevent soil bags breaking open in transit.

Download our FAQs on storing soils prior to shipping here.

Get started with TraceCOMPLETE.