The Mississippi State Soil Testing Lab is an Extension unit of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. The mission of the Soil Testing Lab is to provide accurate analytical services in a timely manner. With the support of research conducted by MSU faculty members, the Soil Testing Lab provides unbiased nutrient management recommendations. Our lab works closely with County Extension Agents to provide outreach to all Mississippi landowners concerned with improving soil productivity.
The Soil Testing Lab provides the following services:
The soil test represents a vital piece of Mississippi State Extension outreach. If you are interested in improving soil fertility for farming, gardening, lawns or wildlife food plots you should get a soil test! Our analysis includes pH, lime recommendation, phosphorous (P), potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Zinc (Zn), and Sodium. Total soluble salts (TSS) are reported for all horticultural samples.
Video by Jonathan Parrish
Plant Tissue Analysis
Plant tissue analysis provides a more accurate estimation of essential nutrient concentrations vs. soil analysis. Analysis includes total nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), and Boron (B). Sulfur (S) is available upon request.
Sodium hexametaphosphate is used to separate sand, silt, and clay fractions of soil samples which are then evaluated with the hydrometer method.
Total Carbon/Total Nitrogen
This information will be available soon.
Don’t see a service you need?
For plant diseases/nematodes, please see the Plant Disease and Nematode Diagnostic Services website.
For fertilizer, pesticide, or forage analysis, please see the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory website.
If your lawn, landscape, or garden look a little sickly, it might be time for a soil health checkup. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When Ann Rice leaves the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory on June 30, she will conclude an educational 35-year career filled with unusual requests and interesting discoveries, some of which were about herself.
"When I didn’t have confidence in myself, others did," Rice said. "I never thought I could be a leader, but sometimes, I have had to step up and take the lead, like in the organic matter and plant tissue divisions."
New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency."
"My primary goal is to provide accurate soil analysis in a timely manner," said Jones, an Extension associate who has worked in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences since 2016. "I hope to improve the overall efficiency of the lab as well as update soil nutrient application recommendations."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Row crop producers interested in quality soil should sample fields after harvest and apply recommended lime in the fall.
Larry Oldham, a soil fertility specialist and professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said lime is an important component of soil fertility management because it sets the environment in which plants live and grow.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some people celebrate Earth Day with a trip on April 22 to the city park, but soil scientists get daily opportunities to see the importance of protecting the environment.
Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomy specialist Keith Crouse said an inexpensive soil test is one of the easiest ways to be a good steward of the earth and enjoy all the land has to offer. As coordinator of the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab, Crouse has seen test results prevent growers from applying unnecessary fertilizers.
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