Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services

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Manure analysis

Manure is a valuable source of nutrients for crops and improves soil productivity. Manure testing is necessary to make optimum use of manure while protecting water resources.

Submitting samples

Obtaining a representative manure sample from each storage area is critical to getting accurate test results. The basic guideline is to collect multiple samples, mix them together and make a composite sample.

  • Taking a representative sample
    Obtain samples from at least 10 different places and/or depths to make the composite sample. In the case of poultry litter, sample to the bottom of the litter. If possible, agitate the liquids before collecting the sample.
  • Submitting dry samples
    Submit one quart of dry manure in a Ziploc bag, squeeze excess air from the bag and seal it. Complete the manure testing sample information form and make sure to write your sample number or ID on the bag and mail it to the lab.
  • Submitting wet samples
    Submit one pint of liquid manure in a plastic container. Do not fill the container. Make sure to leave at least one third free space and tighten the cap securely. Complete the manure testing sample information form and write your sample number or ID on the container with permanent ink and mail it to the lab.

Each sample submitted to our lab should be accompanied by a sample information form. When submitting a sample to the lab the sample information form should be filled out accurately and completely.

Include a check for the amount due payable to MU Soil Testing, unless you have an account with us. If you have an account with us fill in the firm and outlet number and we will bill you at the end of the month.

Manure analysis sample information forms can be picked up at the MU Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory free of charge or printed from the Web.
Manure analysis sample information form (RTF)

Available tests and fees

  • Complete manure analysis package
    (Total N, P, K, NH4-N, pH, EC and percent moisture)
  • Total nutrients
    N, P, K and percent moisture
  • Total micro-elements
    (Fe, Cu, Zn, and Mn); $1.50 per element when requested with total nutrient analysis
  • pH
  • EC (electrical conductivity -- saturation paste method)
  • Total Kjeldhal nitrogen
  • Ammonium-N
  • Individual element analysis
    (P, K, Ca, Mg, Na)
  • Moisture percentage

10 percent on 20 or more samples submitted at one time.
Samples should be one quart for dry manure and one pint for liquid manure.

Turnaround time

Five to seven working days after samples are received by the lab.

Manure analysis methods

The lab uses Recommended Methods of Manure Analysis (2003) the recommended methods for manure analysis.

Updated 9/14/11