Our Methods

Our Soil Testing Methods

We use a variety of instruments to analyze soil samples including:

  • atomic absorption spectrophotometers;
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometers (ICPs);
  • Lachat Flow Injection Analyzer;
  • colorimeters; and
  • general laboratory equipment.

Brief descriptions of our soil testing methods are listed below.

 

Sample Preparation

At the laboratory, each sample is assigned an identification number, transferred to a paper bag, and then placed in a metal tray. Every 12th sample is a quality control sample, either a check sample of known chemical properties to ensure accuracy, or a duplicate sample to evaluate laboratory precision.

Samples are dried rapidly under forced air, the temperature not exceeding 95oF.

Dried samples are crushed with a mechanical grinder, and passed through a stainless steel 10-mesh 2.0 mm sieve to remove stones and unwanted debris.

 

Routine Soil Tests (regular tests)

 

Soil Tests Made Upon Request

 

Florist/Greenhouse Tests

 

Reference 

Recommended Chemical Soil Test Procedures for the North Central Region. 1988. North Central Regional Publication No. 221. NDSU Bull. No. 499.

Soil Testing Procedures

Soil Testing Procedures Graphic