Homeowners as well as commercial growers and ornamental horticulture professionals alike may have soil tested for pH and conductivity (soluble salts). Samples are tested for pH utilizing a Beckman-Coulter digital pH meter. Conductivity readings on samples are obtained utilizing a Thermo-Orion digital conductivity meter. Results of soil tests are sent to individuals via regular mail or email if you choose. Each report indicates the soil pH, the conductivity reading as well as a rate of limestone (if needed) to raise the soil pH into the correct range for the plants/crops being grown in the sampled soil.
The Soil Testing Laboratory is located at the Cornell Cooperative Extension - Suffolk County, Extension Education Center in Riverhead, NY. Samples may be dropped off directly at the Extension Education Center in Riverhead or at the Insect & Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab located at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale, NY. Samples dropped off at the Arboretum will be transported once a week to the Lab in Riverhead. Soil samples can also be mailed directly to the Lab in Riverhead as well. Testing is performed once or twice a week depending on the volume of samples submitted to the Lab.
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Office Hours: Monday through Friday - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Horticulture Information Line: 631-727-4126
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Office Hours: Thursday through Friday - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (April-November)
Horticulture Information Line: 631-581-4223
Soil pH Testing Submission Forms
Below are links to our soil pH testing submission forms. The submission forms contain instructions for taking samples including the cost for testing. Please print and fill out the appropriate form and submit it with your soil sample(s):
Instructions For Taking A Soil Sample
Additional Soil Testing Services Provided by Other Labs
Soil Nutrient Testing at the Cornell Nutrient Analysis Laboratories (CNAL), Ithaca, NY.
Effective August 17, 2009, all grower and home gardener soil testing activities that were previously performed at CNAL in Ithaca, NY are being transferred to Agro-One Services. Agro-One, part of Dairy One Inc., is located at 730 Warren Rd. in Ithaca, NY.
All grower and home gardener soil samples for the standard fertility test package using the Modified Morgan method and recommendations are now being processed at Agro-One as are the payments, fees, and questions pertaining to your routine soil fertility analysis. When submitting samples directly to Agro-One, please request the Cornell recommendation; otherwise, you may receive no recommendation - just results.
All questions pertaining to the soil nutrient testing services should be directed to Agro-One Services. Calls can be made to Agro-One at 1.800.496.3344 or 607.257.1272. Instructions for taking samples and submitting samples along with costs and submission forms are available at the following Agro-One web site (http://www.dairyone.com/AgroOne/default.htm)
Cornell Soil Health Testing
Soil health describes the capacity of a soil to be used productively without adversely affecting its future productivity, the ecosystem or the environment. Soil health emphasizes the integration of biological with chemical and physical measures of soil quality that affect farmers' profits and the environment.
Soil health deals with both inherent and dynamic soil quality. Inherent soil quality relates to the natural (genetic) characteristics of the soil, such as its texture. These qualities are the result of soil-forming factors, are generally represented in soil surveys and cannot be changed easily.
In contrast, dynamic soil quality components -- such as compaction, biological functioning, root proliferation, etc. -- are readily affected by management practices. The dynamic component is of most interest to growers because good management allows the soil to come to its full potential.
The inherent and dynamic soil quality components do interact, however, as some soil types are much more susceptible to degradation and unforgiving of poor management than others.
Soil health is important to farmers and growers because they need to know if their soil will continue to sustain profitable yields, and to help reduce long-term risks to environmental quality.
The Cornell Soil Health Program Work Team has developed soil measurements to help monitor the state of soil health both in space and time. These indicators can measure soil improvement or degradation resulting from different management practices and also the long term changes in soil health under given management practices.
For more information on the Cornell Soil Health Testing program including all costs, sampling instructions, submission forms, etc. visit their web site at ( http://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu/extension/test.htm)
Cornell Waste Management Institute - Soil Quality and Testing
The information on the Cornell Waste Management Institute - Soil Quality and Testing website is intended to help people who are interested in learning about soil contamination, soil testing, interpreting test results, and best practices for healthy soils. Among other subjects a list of laboratories certified by the NYS Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) to conduct lead analyses is available at this web site. Many laboratories on this list also test for other hazardous materials, air emissions, etc.