Woods End Laboratories

Healthy Soil

Healthy Science

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Get the Soil Health Test

In cooperation with USDA ARS, we have upgraded Woods End’s traditional tests into a new set of integrated biologically-oriented procedures. Components of the new approach date back to the 1980’s when Brinton returned from training in Europe and initiated aggregate stability and 7-day CO2-Respiration for N-mineralization (the German standard at the time).  For a limited time we included  soil enzymes (dehydrogenase and urease) but later discontinued these tests as CO2 respiration gave excellent overall correlation to system biological parameters and with the Solvita innovation, could be run cost-effectively with large numbers of soils. The overall goal is to report physical, chemical and biological parameters in a manner consistent with sound soil management.

The new Soil Health Tool protocol gives an overview of biological activity of the soil system and integrates this into estimating the supply of available and estimation of potentially available nutrients. A new soil extract is being used that makes it more realistic to test soils across varying regions since it adjusts to intrinsic factors (weakly buffered). It is somewhat similar to the European CAL extracts designed to mimic low ionic strength soil systems with organic acids present that are similar to plant-root exudates. The N-P-K report takes into account soluble nutrients and those expected to become available due to the healthy functioning of the soil system.  The report is designed to save costs on nutrient fertilization, and to provide suggestions to improving soil health.

Woods End’s Soil Health Toolbox:

  • Accounts for soil microbial biomass, with a view that this is very nutrient-relevant;
  • Evaluates N + P mineralization potential, the core of the nutrient supply mechanism for plants
  • Represents nutrients likely to be “plant relevant” from lighter-weight extractants
  • Evaluates quality of the pool of soil organic carbon.this page updated March 3 2014

Please provide the following:

  1. The soil sample (wet or dry) with the date of the sample and the intended crops.  If the location is different than the zipcode on the order, please provide specific GPS or sample zipcode information which we use to map to your climate zone.

Choose from The Regular or Premium Test:

  1. The Regular Test  is as provided in the normal soil health toolbox. Includes Solvita CO2 Burst. $55
  2. The Premium Test includes additional: Soil Organic Matter %, pH, Magnesium, Sodium, Active CEC, Aggregate Stability. $75
  3. What you get is a comprehensive report and a Soil Health Score. The standardized Score uses an open source formula from USDA and should be the same from other labs offering the Soil Health Tool.  The nutrient score shows the expected total available supply and it is tied to common crop categories.
  4. Interpretation Guide: Each customer receives a full interpretation guideline with the report.

Sample Information Form> Please attach the following Sample-information with each order.

**Mail to our PO BOX if sending via USPS, or our street address if sending via UPS or FEDEX**




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