Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services
The when and how of plant sampling is very dependent on the crop sampled.
Instructions for sampling and submitting samples as specified by the Columbia
lab should be followed. See specific instructions on selected field crops,
vegetables, and fruit crops. The recommended time to sample is just prior
to the beginning of the reproductive stage for many plants. Please check the
listings under the selected crops first.
- Paired samples
Where a deficiency is suspected, take samples from normal plants in an adjacent area as well as from the affected area. It is recommended to take a soil sample from each area also.
- Dusty plants should be avoided
If dust is present, brushing or wiping with a clean damp cloth may be sufficient. If not, rinse briefly with water while the material is still fresh.
- Care and handling of sample
Air dry the sample and put in a clean paper bag or envelope and take it to
the county extension Center or mail it to the lab located in Columbia.
Sample 25 to 30 plants throughout the area.
Fresh plant tissue should be air dried before sending. After air drying put the sample in a clean paper bag or envelope.
- When no specific sampling instructions are given
The general rule of thumb is to sample upper, recently mature leaves. The recommended time to sample is just prior to the beginning of the reproductive stage for many plants.
- Completion of the information form
is essential for the lab to properly interpret the plant analysis.
Where to submit plant samples
Plant samples may be submitted to
- County extension centers
- Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory
23 Mumford Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Sample submitted directly to the lab should be accompanied by the sample information form and 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.
Only the lab in Columbia performs plant analysis.
When submitting a sample to the lab the sample information form should
be filled out accurately for the lab to properly interpret the plant analysis.
Send the original form with the plant sample(s) and retain a copy for
Plant analysis sample information forms can be
picked up at the county extension centers or at the MU Soil and Plant Testing
Laboratory free of charge or printed from the Web.
Plant analysis information form
Available tests and fees
See our charges.