Soil Testing

Soil testing is an important management practice on all farms, whether growing vegetables for fresh market or pasture for livestock.  It’s nearly impossible to determine what a soil needs to be productive, without a soil analysis. There are many types of soil analyses available depending on what information you are seeking.  The most commonly requested analysis is for nutrient content, though you may wish to know what organisms are working in your soil, if there are pesticide residues or determine the particle size analysis.

A Guide to Collecting Soil Samples for Farms and Gardens - This publication is a simple guide on “how to take a soil sample”. Remember, the results of the soil test will only be as good as the soil sample taken. Be thorough, collecting a representative sample of the complete area to be tested. Check with the local Extension Service office to see if there is a soil probe available for loan.

A List of Analytical Labs Serving Oregon - This list of labs is updated every few years. Before choosing a lab, call for current prices and procedures for mailing the sample. Labs will often have packages of several analyses for a lower cost than individual tests.

Soil Test Interpretation Guide - Soil tests results may look a little foreign! This guide will help sort out the key points. For further information about specific soil results, contact the local Extension Service office or a private consultant.