Soil Analysis

Before sending soil samples to us please check out our Soil Sampling page.

An accurate soil analysis is vital to understanding your soil. We use a very high-quality laboratory analysis that works specifically for our system.

From the basis of detailed soil analysis, plant tissue analysis when necessary, and – importantly – the additional information that you provide by completing the free soil test worksheet, we build a specific fertilizer recommendation for each soil sample, tailoring the recommendations to your particular operation and goals.

The recommendations will utilize the proven principles of the Kinsey/Albrecht system of soil fertility management. The aim is to correct and raise the overall soil fertility to improve and maintain yields and/or crop quality. If we have previously made recommendations for the same soil location and it has been properly identified as such, then these previous analyses and recommendations are taken into account also.

Samples originating outside of the U.S. require specific USDA clearance, and may also have to be priced differently according to the service you require – please contact us for the proper procedures and information concerning the cost of analysis and turn-around time before sending any soil or plant samples from outside the U.S.A.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Our recommendation report for each sample has two parts: the soil analysis and recommendations for achieving the proper fertility level. The basic soil analysis will normally include:

  • Total Exchange Capacity (T.E.C.)
  • Organic Matter(Humus) as a percent
  • Nitrogen (N released from colloidal humus)
  • Sulfate (Expressed as elemental sulfur) in ppm
  • Phosphates (as P2O5)
  • Olsen Value (Included at no charge if pH is above 7.5)
  • Percent Base Saturation of:
    • Calcium
    • Magnesium
    • Potassium
    • Sodium
    • Other Bases
    • Exchangeable Hydrogen
  • Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium levels-in lbs/acre*
  • Trace Elements:
    • Boron in ppm
    • Iron in ppm
    • Manganese in ppm
    • Copper in ppm
    • Zinc in ppm

Additional Tests (all optional and available at an additional charge per sample, please contact us for current prices):

  • Cobalt in ppm (We encourage this test for each sample that you send to us for the first time for any area that will provide feed for livestock or significant amounts of food for people.)
  • Molybdenum in ppm
  • Chlorides in ppm, Salt Concentration in d/Sm
  • Aluminum
  • Limestone Analysis
  • Manure Analysis (includes S, Ca and Mg, plus B, Fe, Mn, Cu, & Zn)
  • Manure Analysis (N-P-K only)
  • Compost Analysis

*or, if you prefer, in kg/ha; lbs/1000sq.ft.; lbs/cu.yd

Our recommendations for a specific plan of fertilizer amendments are tailored to your expressed short or long term goals, and take into account the previous history of crops and fertilizers at the location, farming conditions in the area, your type of operation (for instance organic or conventional), fertilizer preferences, and other factors, as supplied by the grower, in addition to the condition of the soil. Where appropriate the recommendations will include additional notes on materials to be used, application method, and timing. Please feel free to discuss your requirements beforehand with our staff. Our aim is to provide a service that will achieve excellent results for you.

We do not sell fertilizers or soil amendments. It is suggested that to the extent possible you work locally to obtain materials from your preferred fertilizer dealership. Since each soil is tested in more detail than is customarily done in various areas, and provided as well with its own specific set of recommendations, some needed materials may not always be stocked by local dealers. This tends to be especially true for those striving to be certified organic growers. In such cases, where the volume will be sufficient enough for shipping, you or your dealer may wish to contact in Clackamas, Oregon, as a source of fertilizer and/or soil amendments. (We have no financial ties or arrangements with this company, but a number of our clients have used them to obtain gypsum, rock phosphate, lime, and high-quality micro-nutrient fertilizers.) Furthermore, on our website consultants page, Dave Nelson, located in Minnesota, is also a source of quality materials for products needed in truckload lots.