OSU Central Analytical Laboratory

Author: Shannon Andrews, Central Analytical Laboratory, Oregon State University

Publish Date: Winter 2017

We are pleased to announce that the OSU Crop and Soil Science Department has reinvigorated the Central Analytical Laboratory and we are open for service. CAL is able to process plant, soil, water, and soil amendments for a range of characteristics. We offer analytical packages for plant tissue nutrients, as well as proximate analysis for feed and forage samples. There are several different soil package options, from nutrient characterization to physical characterization to soil health analyses. We can also characterize manure, compost, biochar, or other organically-based soil fertilizers or amendments. Individual tests within each of these categories can also be requested. See our website for further analysis information.

One of the main goals of this reinvigoration was to make CAL a centerpiece of agricultural education at OSU. While much of our work will be focused on research, we are happy to work with producers directly. We are also here to help people who may not have a strong background in soil science to ensure that they are sampling properly and performing the analyses that will allow them to answer their questions.

CAL is working on the team to develop a set of nationally adopted soil health metrics. We are very excited to be developing a soil health database with NRCS that will be used as a tool to help producers make long-term land management decisions based on the impacts to the health of the soil system. Soil health has been defined as:

The continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem  and land use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, promote the quality of air and water environments, and maintain plant, animal, and human health.

~Pankhurst et al. 1997

Our goal is to support producers in their efforts to maintain their soil’s health and in turn, long-term productivity. If you are interested in participating in our Soil Health Initiative by providing production information and access to your farm, please contact us, and we would be happy to talk.

Our new website has detailed information regarding services, prices, protocols, and our new sample submission form: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/cal

You can bring samples directly to the CAL on the third floor of the Ag Life Science building in room 3079. We are typically available from 9-5 Mon-Fri. Or you can mail samples to:

Oregon State University

Central Analytical Lab

3017 Ag Life Sciences Bldg

Corvallis, OR 97331

I look forward to working with you and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Shannon Andrews, Manager

OSU Central Analytical Laboratory

Office: 541-737-2187 – ALS 3079