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.
If you are growing a late summer or fall crop, there is still time to run a Comprehensive Soil Test which includes a direct check on plant-available nitrogen. Nitrate is easily lost from saturated soil, and we have seen well over 50% low nitrate test levels over the summer, due to localized heavy rainfall events this season.
Many high tunnel growers will soon be transitioning from high heat summer crops to fall and winter crops. We have two testing options for high tunnel growers. The Basic High Tunnel test reports full season nutrient availability and includes enhanced recommendations for much higher productivity levels. The Long-Term High Tunnel test also includes a second report on short-term nutrient intensity, which complements the Basic test for highly-intensive crop rotations.
A quick way to check your Soil Health is by asking for a Soil Biology test, as an add-on to any of our routine soil fertility packages.
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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.