Services and Methods

Routine soil analysis provides information on the pH and fertility status of soil. Soil test results provide guidance on the types and amounts of fertilizer and lime to apply to optimize plant growth and yield. Soil testing is just one component of agronomic and environmental nutrient management that collectively helps sustain plant growth and minimize nutrient losses into the surrounding landscape using the best available science.

In Arkansas, routine soil testing is done free of charge provided the soil is from Arkansas and the person submitting the sample is an Arkansas resident. The Fertilizer Tonnage Fee has supported soil testing services and enforcement of fertilizer laws in Arkansas since 1953 and provides free routine testing of soil at the Marianna Laboratory.

Routine soil analysis includes measurement of soil water pH and extraction of plant available nutrients using the Mehlich-3 extraction method. A list of routine and non-routine (fee based) services and references for the anlytical methods used by the Marianna Soil Test Laboratory is given below. For information on how to collect and submit a soil sample, please go to How to Submit Soil Samples page.

Laboratory Methods and References

Routine analysis

        Mehlich III (Index of nutrient availability for selected nutrients, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and B)

Zhang, H., D.H. Hardy, R. Mylavarapu, and J. Wang. 2014. Mehlich-3. In: F.J. Sikora and K.P. Moore, editors, Soil test methods from the southeastern United States. Southern Coop. Ser. Bull. 419. p. 101-110. Univ. of Georgia http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/sera6/PUB/MethodsManualFinalSERA6.asp.

Soil pH (1:2 soil:water mixture)

Sikora, F.J., and D.E. Kissel. 2014. Soil pH. In: F.J. Sikora and K.P. Moore, editors, Soil test methods from the southeastern United States. Southern Coop. Ser. Bull. 419. p. 48-53. Univ of Georgia http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/sera6/PUB/MethodsManualFinalSERA6.asp.

 

Non-routine procedures and prices

        Soil Nitrate-N ($5.00 per sample) measured by ion-selective electrode

Gordon, G.V. 1992. Determination of nitrate-nitrogen by specific-ion electrode. In: S.J. Donahue, editor, Reference soil media diagnostic procedures for the Southern Region of the United States. Southern Coop. Ser. Bull. 374. p. 25-27. Univ of Georgia. http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/sera6/PUB/bulletinNo374.asp.

Soil Organic Matter ($6.00 per sample) measured by Weight Loss on Ignition

Zhang, H., and J.J. Wang. 2014. Measurement of soil salinity and sodicity. In: F.J. Sikora and K.P. Moore, editors, Soil test methods from the southeastern United States. Southern Coop. Ser. Bull. 419. p. 155-157. Univ. of Georgia http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/sera6/PUB/MethodsManualFinalSERA6.asp.      

Soil Electrical Conductivity ($3.00 per sample) in 1:2 soil:water mixture

Wang, J.J., T. Provin, and H. Zhang. 2014. Measurement of soil salinity and sodicity. In: F.J. Sikora and K.P. Moore, editors, Soil test methods from the southeastern United States. Southern Coop. Ser. Bull. 419. p. 185-193. Univ. of Georgia. http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/sera6/PUB/MethodsManualFinalSERA6.asp

Soil Texture Analysis ($15.00 per sample) by hydrometer

Huluka, G. and R. Miller. 2014. Particle size determination by hydrometer method. In: F.J. Sikora and K.P. Moore, editors, Soil test methods from the southeastern United States. Southern Coop. Ser. Bull. 419. p. 180-184. Univ. of Georgia http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/sera6/PUB/MethodsManualFinalSERA6.asp.