Michigan State University's Soil & Plant Nutrient Lab has announced that they are implementing a new system for soil testing. A recent message from the University states:
"We have a standardized soil test envelope that can be purchased for a standard price of $20 either from the county offices or online from the MSU Extension Bookstore, or from retailers that choose to market the test envelopes. The envelope is already addressed and has postage applied that will ensure shipment directly to the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab on campus. Then the results will be made available to the consumer either through an email with the specific results, or if he or she wishes, through the county office. The emailed results will link to a website that gives more information on products the consumer may want to use and application rates for their situation."
The $20 kit applies only to lawn & vegetable garden samples, and includes everything that you'll need in order to package and send in your sample. When you receive your results, the email will link to the all-new MSU Soil Test website, where you can use their online applications to generate a more customized set of recommendations based on your results. We will have a limited supply of kits on-hand in our office for purchase, if you would prefer to pick one up rather than order it from the Bookstore.
Soil samples for trees, shrubs, wildlife plots, and commercial crops cannot be sent using the mailer and should continue to be submitted by bringing samples into our office. Tree, shrub, and wildlife plot samples will cost $20. Commercial crops will cost $15.
The new procedures and pricing will go into effect on Monday, June 13, 2011.