Extension

Rutgers Soil Test

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Programs

Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers a variety of events throughout the state. Our specialists work hard to provide growers with valuable information and hands-on educational experiences.

Some events and courses offered include:

  • Organic Land Care Field Days
  • Workshops on food safety, organic disease management, and other key topics
  • Eco-Friendly Home Landscape Series
  • Twilight Meetings and Research Tours
  • Webinars

Outreach Activities

Our agents and specialists give presentations at area conferences, including:

  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey Winter Conference
  • Atlantic Coast Agriculture Convention (Proceedings of previous conferences can be found at our Vegetable Crops Resource Center.
  • Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention


Livestock specialists assist producers in developing management plans for animal waste. Our specialists are involved on the national level.

  • Dr. Joseph Heckman, 2013 chair, Committee on Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, a special ASA-CSSA-SSSA committee
  • Dr. Joseph Heckman, 2013 chair, Organic Management Systems, American Society of Agronomy

Clifford E. and Melda C. Snyder Research and Extension Farm

Located in Pittstown, NJ (Hunterdon County), the Snyder Farm is the Rutgers University Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Included in the farm’s 390 acres is a certified organic plot for research and demonstration uses. Snyder Farm conducts research and hosts educational events for growers and gardeners.

Services for our Growers

Plant Diagnostic Laboratory

Diagnostics plays a major role in agricultural management. With proper diagnosis, growers can optimize their disease and insect pest management efforts and reduce their use of pesticides.
The Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Laboratory provides accurate and timely diagnoses for all your plant health needs. Results are accompanied by data-driven and research-based management recommendations for both traditional and organic production systems. Remember that proper sampling and timely submissions ensure accurate diagnoses.

Hot Water Seed Sterilization

Hot water seed sterilization is offered at the Monmouth County Extension office for tomato and pepper seeds. Temperature and length of hot water treatment are prescribed to kill pathogens in and on the seed without affecting seed viability. Hot water treatment kills most bacterial pathogens, including Clavibacter michiganense subsp. michiganense (Cmm), the causal agent of bacterial canker of tomato.

Soil Testing Laboratory

Healthy soil is the foundation of organic agriculture. Results from soil testing provide insight into soil quality and enable growers to maximize fertility management efforts. The Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory, a service of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, analyzes soil samples for key quality indicators: pH, nutrients, organic matter content, available nitrogen, and soil respiration. The Laboratory can perform analytical tests on compost, as well. Along with test results, the Laboratory provides appropriate management recommendations.

The Laboratory offers the Solvita test for soil carbon dioxide respiration. The carbon dioxide measured in this assay is proportional to soil microbial biomass, an indicator of soil health. Furthermore, the Solvita assay offers insight into the rate of organic matter turnover or decomposition. By taking into account the rate of nutrient mineralization, growers can better determine fertilizer rates and potentially decrease costs.

Proper sampling is necessary. Details and sampling instructions can be found on their website.


  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences