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.

Summer 2021

We would like to thank all our customers for their patience this past spring as we worked through a record number of samples from farmers and gardeners. The demand for testing was truly unprecedented and (for a time) overwhelming. We are happy to report that we have cleared our sample backlog and are now back to our normal turnaround time of 2 weeks.

An unusually hot and dry spring has stressed many gardens and plantings. Many gardeners and homeowners are experiencing unusual plant growth patterns or outright failures. Soil pH and fertility problems can add to the stress on your plants. We are seeing many nitrogen deficiency problems in gardens, which can be caused by a variety of factors. A Comprehensive Soil Test is an excellent testing option during the summer, providing a complete check on soil fertility. It’s not too late to amend your soil by applying any recommended fertilizer alongside your growing plants as a “side dress”, followed by light mixing and watering.

A healthy soil is a productive soil. A quick check on soil health is provided by our Soil Biology add-on test, which measures microbial respiration over 24 hours after rewetting dry soil. Guidelines for managing soil organic matter quality are included with this test.

Our lab also provides testing services for irrigation water, manure, compost, plant foliar nutrient content, and soil metals screening.

For more information click on

Sample Submission Forms

Understanding Recommendations

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.

Soil, Plant and Environmental Soil Program 2015