Soil testing kits available at local MU Extension centers

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Submitting soil samples to your local University of Missouri Extension center is easy, says Manjula Nathan, director of the MU Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory.

Now is the best time of the year to submit samples to the accredited lab. Soil tests help farmers, gardeners and lawn owners find what fertilizers they may or may not need, says Nathan.

"Do not guess what your soil needs," she says. Soil tests tells you the nutrient and pH levels in soils and provide specific recommendations based on what plants you are growing. Soil testing saves money and protects the environment by applying only needed nutrients.

"Soil testing is an essential management tool for efficient nutrient management that results in improved production and optimized returns," Nathan says.

Send soil samples in boxes or bags available at county extension offices or at the soil testing lab on the MU campus. Allow soil to air dry before mailing. This protects sample boxes from damage and loss during mailing.

For information on how to take soil samples, the following MU Extension guides are available for free download:

Field Crops, extension.missouri.edu/MP188.

Lawns and Gardens, extension.missouri.edu/MP555.

Commercial Fruits, Vegetables and Turfs, extension.missouri.edu/MP727.

Enclose the completed soil sample information form with the sample and submit to your local extension center or submit directly to the Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory, University of Missouri, 23 Mumford Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Enclose a check to MU Soil Testing.

For more information, call 573-882-0623, email soiltestingservices@missouri.edu or go to soilplantlab.missouri.edu/soil.