The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station (MAFES) Analytical Laboratory and Maine Soil Testing Service analyzes soil, plant tissue, compost, manure, irrigation water, wood ash, fertilizers, organic residuals and other materials for nutrient content, organic matter, lead and other trace elements. We provide analytical services at reasonable prices to the public and to researchers.
MAFES Analytical Lab and Maine Soil Testing Service are Open for Business
Covid-19 Effects on Operations
We have maintained normal operations as an Essential Service throughout the spring, summer and fall in order to serve the farming and gardening communities and local food production. We are continuing to receive, process, and report samples normally for customers in Maine and throughout the Northeast. We encourage you to ship your samples directly to us, though we do maintain a drop off container outside Deering Hall for local samples.
Important Information on Sample Turnaround Time
Early spring weather and pent up demand for testing services has resulted in a massive surge in samples arriving for analysis, which is well beyond our capacity to dry and process within our normal 2 week turnaround time for routine soil testing. We will run your samples in the order that we received them, but turnaround times will be longer than usual for the next several weeks. We realize that planting time is nearly upon us and appreciate your patience as we process your samples as quickly as possible.
A second option to consider is our Comprehensive Soil Test, which is most appropriate starting around Memorial Day. By that time the soil has warmed enough for normal biological activity to have resumed and the nitrogen level is a much more meaningful measurement. The Comprehensive test includes a direct check on available nitrogen and much more precise recommendations for nitrogen fertilizer.
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The laboratory is located in Deering Hall on the University of Maine campus. (driving directions). Samples may be mailed to us or dropped off at room 25. We are available Monday through Friday between 8 and 5.
Your data is confidential as described in the Laboratory’s Privacy and Delineation of Responsibility Policy. We use standardized methodology and, as part of our data Quality Assurance program, we participate in the North American Proficiency Testing (NAPT) program.