Our online sample submission form will be available soon, for now please use this Submission Form.


If you are on the OSU campus you can bring samples directly to the CAL with your submission form. We are located on the third floor of the Ag Life Science building in room 3079. We are typically available from 9-5 M-F.

Please send samples to:

Oregon State University
Central Analytical Lab
3017 Ag Life Sciences Bldg
Corvallis, OR 97331


Analysis Packages

Explanation/Recommended for:

The Whole Shebang   (pH, EC, SMP, OM, CEC, Total N, Total C, NH4-N, NO3-N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Na, B, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, texture, moisture, potentially mineralizable nitrogen, active carbon, wet aggregate stability)

Recommended when you are starting production on new land. This will give you the information needed to make a nutrient management plan with your crop advisor or extension specialist.  PLEASE NOTE* Potentially mineralizable nitrogen is a 30 day incubation. If you need your other results before your PMN results please let us know. 

Soil Health Assessment (pH, EC, OM, Total C and N, NO3-N P, Mg, Ca, texture, potentially mineralizable nitrogen, active carbon, wet aggregate stability, moisture)

Ideal for measurements of long term soil health improvement parameters (partnership with NRCS and SWCD). PLEASE NOTE* Potentially mineralizable nitrogen is a 30 day incubation. If you need your other results before your PMN results please let us know. 

Soil Nutrient Analysis (pH, EC, SMP, OM, CEC, NO3-N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Na, B, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn,  moisture)

Recommended to determine if there are any limiting nutrients in your field (every 2-5 years or when new crops are going to be planted)

Quick Soil Macro Nutrient Analysis (pH, NO3-N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, moisture)

Recommended to those who have tested previously and know the micronutrients are sufficient, need fertilizer application rates (annual)

Plant Nutrient Analysis (C, N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Cl, B, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mo, Ni)

Recommended to determine nutrients that the plant has taken up, to adjust fertilizer recommendations for crop and site specific issues

Heavy Metals (plant or soil, Cd, Cr, Co, Fe, Pb, V, Mo, Ni, Zn)

Only needed if there is reason to be concerned that there has been heavy metal contamination

Feed/Forage Analysis (C, N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, ADF, NDF, crude protein, crude fat, total ash, moisture)

To determine the nutritive value of feedstuffs

Manure/Compost Analysis (C, N, NO3-N, NH4-N, P, K, Ca, S, Mg, total ash, Moisture)

Recommended prior to land application to determine nutrient additions



Individual Analyses

Explanation/Recommended for:

pH and EC

pH is a master control of nutrient availability; electrical conductivity is measured at the same time

Lime Requirement, Sikora buffer

To determine the application rate of lime needed to change pH. Sikora has a 1:1 relationship with SMP results.

Total C and N (solid)

Organic matter characterization

Total C and N (liquid)

Organic matter characterization

Organic Matter

Total estimated organic matter measured through loss on ignition

Cation exchange capacity (measurement)

Cation exchange capacity as measured through ammonium acetate method (other methods available upon request)

Cation exchange capacity (calculation)

Use ICP K, Ca, Mg, Na results to calculate


Exchangeable plant available mineral nitrogen


Exchangeable plant available mineral nitrogen

Texture (PSA)

Precisely determine percent sand, silt, clay using sieve and pipette method (hydrometer method available upon request)

Texture (tactile)

Determine percent sand, silt, clay with calibrated hand approximation

Potentially mineralizable nitrogen

30 day incubation to estimate the quantity of N your soil organic matter that will be transformed to plant available nitrogen over one growing season (no rush analysis possible)

Active carbon

Method of determining readily oxidizable C using potassium permanganate (KMnO4) solution

Wet aggregate stability

Tests the soil aggregate resistance to destruction by simulated rain. To evaluate soil structural stability


Measure of the microbial extracellular enzyme beta glucosidase. This provides information on the rate of microbial turnover of soil organic matter

Moisture release curve

The HyProp modular lab instrument will generate a detailed (100 points +20hPa to -1200 hPa) moisture release  curve to determine soil water potential and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of a soil sample

Microbial respiration incubation

Soil sample is brought to 60% water filled pore space and packed into a column to replicate field bulk density. The Picarro Isotopic Analyzer is used to measure CO2 emitted over a designated period of time

NDF neutral detergent fiber

NDF is the most common index of non-digestible fiber (structural) in the feed. Measuring the structural components of the plant cell (lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose) left over after boiling in neutral detergent solution

ADF acid detergent fiber

ADF is used in conjunction with NDF to  specifically measure the cellulose and lignin fraction of the plant cell

Crude Protein

Calculated from a measurement of total N of a plant material.

Crude Fat

Ether extract is used with the Goldficsh setup to determine the total fat present in a feed

Total Ash

Sample is put in combustion oven to determine total minerals present.

Elemental analyses  ICP-OES

Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectroscopy for quantitative evaluation of many elements

For elemental analysis you must also select your extraction method

Combustion dry ash extraction

Combustion process used prior to ICP for nutrient determination of plant samples

Mehlich-3 extraction

"Universal" extraction for soil sample preparation prior to ICP elemental analysis. Recommended for P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Al, Na, B

Ammonium acetate

Extraction common for cation nutrients. Recommended only for K, Ca, Mg, Na

DTPA extraction

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid extraction used only for Zn, Cu, Mn

Bray extraction

Dilute acid-fluoride extraction method used only for Phosphorus on soils with a pH less than 7 (often listed for west of Cascades)

Olsen extraction

Sodium bicarbonate extraction method used only for phosphorus on soils with a pH greater than 7 (often listed for east of Cascades)

Hot water extraction

Recommended for boron determination

Heavy metal extraction

EPA method 3050B can be used for soil and sludge determination of Cd, Cr, Co, Fe, Pb, V, Mo, Ni, Zn

Microwave digestion

Complete digestion of material allowing for nutrient determination that is not an index of exchangeable nutrients, but a measure of total nutrients present. Please contact the lab prior to submission of this process to discuss specific digestion protocol


Payment options

Bill me:

OSU accounting services will use your billing address from your sample submission form to send you a bill once the analyses are completed.

OSU Index:

If you fill in an OSU Index number on your samples submission form, accounting can easily charge your account.

Check in advance:

If you are sure of the price you will be charged, you can send a check along with your samples

Credit card:

To pay with a Visa or Mastercard credit card, you can go to:


You will need to have your invoice number available in order to use this payment method. 

Turn around time

It is our goal to get you results within one week of receiving samples. It has been our experience that we should always be able to get your results back within two week of receipt. 

You may have noticed that there is a special fee for sending just a few samples with rush delivery. If you need samples within two days of our receipt you can select this option. If you need rushed results I recommend that you call first to make sure we can process your samples because there are times when the equipment is not functioning properly. If we cannot get you what you need, I will recommend sending to a commercial lab.