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Soil Testing Laboratory

COVID-19 UPDATE (3/29/21)

Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory staff are still at work, providing fee-for-service analysis of soil samples and generating reports/recommendations for all clients. Appropriate safety procedures and precautions are being followed to assure and protect the health of staff, including social distancing and use of personal protective equipment, sterilizing work surfaces and incoming packages, etc. The Soil Testing Laboratory will remain closed to everyone other than staff until further notice.

However, as of March 24, 2021, soil samples may be dropped off outside the side entrance of Rutgers’ Administrative Services Building II (southwest side of the building by glass door) under these conditions:

  • Paperwork (soil test questionnaires) must be filled out in advance and accompany soil samples, inside bag or box with samples. Packages should be weather-worthy.
  • Drop-off samples at the side door drop-off site between 7 a.m. and 12 noon only, Monday through Friday.
  • Call (848-932-9295) to inform Soil Testing Laboratory staff that sample(s) has/have been dropped off.
  • Credit card payment info will be taken by phone after the samples have been picked up by STL staff.
    Do not include credit card information on soil test questionnaires left at the drop-off site.

How to? Soil test kits may not be available for purchase locally because many county offices of Rutgers Cooperative Extension are also closed to the public. Use this alternative: Use this alternative: How to get your soil tested, and find the appropriate Soil Sampling Instructions and Soil Test Questionnaire; headings describe different land use and "crop" scenarios. Read and follow the instructions; download and fill out the questionnaire; then send soil sample and questionnaire with payment to the lab.

Soil test reports are generated from the analytical data and include soil amendment recommendations; the reports are usually sent by email, with a copy sent also to the local County Cooperative Extension office for further consultation, if needed.

Photo: . Photo: precision ag demo. Photo: Weed Science demonstration.

The Soil Testing Laboratory is a part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). Located on the G. H. Cook Campus, the Soil Testing Laboratory is a service unit that offers chemical and mechanical analyses of soils for the residents of New Jersey and for Rutgers University researchers. Our mission is to provide accurate and timely soil and water test reports to meet the unique agricultural and environmental needs of our state.

Benefits of Having Soil Tested

Soil testing is economically prudent. The appropriate application of nutrients and/or lime can save money. Don't buy nutrients that your soil doesn't need; instead, invest in those nutrients that will bring about healthy growth and yields.

To apply optimal levels of nutrients or lime to your soil, it is necessary to know the existing pH and the availability of essential plant nutrients in the soil. Having too much or too little of these nutrients or limestone can be harmful to plant growth. We can help you adjust these levels for best results.

Soil testing is an environmentally responsible practice. Applying fertilizer or other nutrient sources incorrectly can lead to nitrate or phosphorus contamination of our water resources. By applying fertilizer appropriately, you can ensure that you are "feeding" your plants in an environmentally friendly and "green" way.