Are you one of the Illinois landowners eligible for $5,000 in free soil analyses and consultation with a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign research team? Check this map.

Soil scientist Andrew Margenot stumbled upon a trove of soil samples dating back to the late 1800s in a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign barn slated for demolition. Likely the oldest and largest soil archive in the world, the 8,000-sample collection was ripe for analysis. With funding support from the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) and Illinois Farm Bureau, the team is asking current landowners to re-sample the 453 original locations. So far, the university team has only been able to access 8 percent of the sites.

If you’re one of the lucky landowners, click on your pins and navigate to a sign-up link. For full story and contact information see

  • Source University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
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