Introducing our new Soil Health Lab!

The first dedicated soil health lab in Illinois

Over the past few years, we have conducted soil health tests for our customers to help them learn more about the productive capacity of their fields.  To provide this information in a more timely and complete fashion, we have opened a laboratory at our facility in Erie, Illinois.

Our testing services focus on some key measures of soil health and nutrient availability, including the Solvita Suite of tests that were developed by Woods End Laboratory.  At this time, we do not conduct traditional tests for soil fertility and soil chemistry, and we continue to rely on other commercial laboratories for these services.

Soil structure

Solvita CO2 Burst Test

  • Microbial activity in the soil generates carbon dioxide (CO2), and healthier soils with more microbial activity generate release more CO2.
  • The Burst test measures CO2 respiration from the soil sample while controlling for two key factors that influence microbial activity, moisture and temperature.
  • The Burst test results provide a refined estimate of nitrogen (N) mineralization from soil organic matter, which can help with planning your N fertilizer program.

Solvita Labile Amino Nitrogen (SLAN) Test

  • The SLAN test measures amino nitrogen in the soil sample, which is correlated with microbial activity.
  • Amino N is distinct from the nitrate form of nitrogen that is usually reported on traditional soil tests.
  • Amino nitrogen is a distinct pool of N that will become available for crop production.

Volumetric Aggregate Stability Test (VAST)

  • Soil microbes release carbon-based substances that bind soil individual particles into aggregates.
  • Healthy soils have more stable aggregates, which help to improve root penetration, water infiltration, and water holding capacity and to reduce soil compaction.
  • VAST provides a standardized method for measuring soil aggregate stability of soil samples in the laboratory.

Other soil health test components

  • Soil organic matter (SOM)
  • N mineralization rate
  • Microbial biomass per acre
  • Soil health index
  • Solvita basal CO2 (ppm)
  • Nitrate nitrogen (ppm)
  • Electrical conductivity (EC)
  • Soil acidity (pH)

Click here to view a sample test report