Many different analyses for soil samples are conducted at the K-State Soil Testing Lab. The most common analyses requested include tests for pH, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), nitrate (NO 3 ), and organic matter. However, other analyses are performed on a daily basis including: calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), cation exchange capacity (CEC), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), ammonium (NH 4 ), sulfate (SO 4 ), chloride (Cl), aluminum (Al), texture, soluble salts, and salt alkali.
Soil samples are transferred to sterile, labeled containers and dried in a forced air oven (unless analysis prohibits immediate oven drying). Once dry, they are ground with a pulverizing-type grinder and analyzed. When the data is complete and has been reviewed, sample data is emailed to the researcher or producer. Samples are kept on storage shelves for a time so samples may be available for additional analysis at the producer’s request or may be returned upon request.