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Services for Field and Truck Crop Production

Soil Testing

Benefits of Soil Testing

Soil testing is a service provided for the growers of South Carolina as a management tool to help in decisions related to fertilizer and lime applications for commercially grown crops.  It provides a scientific basis for maintaining optimum soil fertility levels and proper soil pH values to help attain maximum plant growth and economic yields.  Soil testing also protects against the expense and environmental hazards resulting from excessive fertilizer applications.

Sampling Information

Instructions for taking and submitting soil samples for analysis by the Agricultural Service Laboratory are found on the soil sample bag.  Record Sheets are available on line at http://www.clemson.edu/agsrvlb or at your county Cooperative Extension office.  Proper sampling is important to ensure representative soil test results and proper fertilizer recommendations.  We recommend that commercial growers sample their soil annually.

Results and Recommendations

Upon completion of the analysis, a report with the plant nutrient levels and fertilizer and lime recommendations will be returned to you by mail or email. Recommendations will be made for the crop(s) listed on the Record Sheet and will include comments on cultural practices or other specific recommendations for the crop(s) to be grown.  If you have any questions regarding the results or recommendations, your county Extension agent can help you.

Fees  

Plant Tissue Analysis

Benefits of Tissue Analysis

Plant tissue analysis can be a valuable guide for crop fertility management.  The analysis results can be used as a fertilizer application guide for perennial crops such as peaches or the results can be used to diagnose nutrient problems with both perennial and annual plants.

Sampling Information

The values obtained from the tissue analysis are particularly dependent on the stage of growth and plant part sampled.  This is important to consider when comparisons are to be made with established nutrient sufficiency ranges.  Contact the lab or your local county Extension office for information regarding correct sampling procedures for the particular type of plant you want analyzed.

Analysis Results

The analysis report, which will be returned to you by mail or email, will contain your analytical results and the specific nutrient sufficiency ranges for most types of plants submitted.  Sufficiency ranges, however, have not been established for many non-commercial types of plants.  Comparing the results from a healthy sample with the results from an unhealthy sample is helpful in situations where ranges are not available or cannot be used. A soil test will also be helpful in diagnosing problem areas.  Your Extension agent will help you interpret your results.

Fees

Animal Waste Analysis

Benefits of Animal Waste Analysis

Determining the plant nutrient content of animal waste is the initial step for utilizing manure for crop production.  Manure analysis is necessary because the nutrient content of manures is highly variable and not predictable.  Application rates of the manure should be based on the nutrient content of the manure, the nutrient status of the soil, and the nutrient needs of the crop.

Sampling Information

The sample submitted must be representative of the manure to be land applied if the analysis is to be of value.  Samples should be taken as close as possible to the time of application.  If rainfall or manure additions alter the manure, another sample should be taken.  Consult the lab or your county Extension office for sampling guidelines.

Results and Recommendations

The analysis report will be returned to you by mail or email.  Results are reported in pounds of nutrient per ton for solid manures and pounds of nutrient per 1000 gallons for liquid manures on an as-sampled basis (at the moisture content of the sample delivered to the laboratory).  A calculated estimate of available nitrogen will appear on all reports.  Provided with the manure analysis, soil test information, and the crop to be grown, your county agent can assist you in determining the proper application rate of manure.

Fees  

Irrigation Water Analysis

Benefits of Irrigation Water Analysis

Irrigation water can be tested where a problem with salinity is suspected.  Growers who would also like to check the plant nutrient content of their water or pinpoint a specific element that may be causing a toxicity problem due to excessive levels can also benefit from an irrigation water analysis.  This service is not intended for assessing water for drinking purposes.

Results and Recommendations

The analysis report will be returned to you by mail or email.  The lab or the county Extension office will provide you with sampling guidelines and assistance for interpretation of results.

Fees