Bags of soil samples at the UF/IFAS soil testing lab

UF/IFAS Extension changing soil test options, reporting of results

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension soils lab is making changes to its test reporting procedures beginning Sept. 1, 2019.

close up of hand measuring soil samples for testing

Handling a soil sample for testing at the UF soils testing lab.

The Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) is combining its micronutrients and macronutrients tests. The tests, which now cost $7 and $5, respectively, will soon cost $10 – a savings of $2 for clients who want both sets of results.

“Basically, all the macro and micronutrients will be included in the Standard Soil Test packet along with soil pH and lime requirement,” said Dr. Rao Mylavarapu, ESTL director and professor of sustainable nutrient systems in the UF/IFAS Soil and Water Sciences Department.

“Our clients always ask for all nutrients in one report, so this change addresses an existing need,” Mylavarapu added.

Additionally, the test results for the extractable soil concentrations of sulfur will be added with interpretation and recommendation. A graduate student in Dr. Mylavarapu’s research program is working on a boron determination method in soils. This could result in the addition of boron to the standard soil tests in the near future.

The new soil test forms for commercial producers, landscape and vegetable gardens, Bahiagrass, citrus, sod, and phosphorus will be available on the ESTL website: http://soilslab.ifas.ufl.edu/

County Extension offices also offer guidance on sample collection, appropriate test(s) selection, and the implementation of recommendations. Sample bags and mailing boxes are available at the county offices, free of charge. The ESTL runs tests daily, so results are typically returned within several business days from when they are received.