Soil Testing

Soil testing is one of the most important things you can do to help increase the productivity of your land.  It also helps you save money and protect your environment by not over-applying fertilizers to your crops.  We can help you test your soils and understand the results, with services to both commercial farms and to home gardeners, and to make sampling easier we offer soil probe rentals (see bottom of this page).  


Non-commercial growers receive technical assistance through our Master Gardener Program.  For all details including fees, our hours and sampling instructions download this guide to Soil Testing for Home Gardeners.  

pH testing:  Drop off a sample to our office anytime we are open (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm); testing is done through during Horticulture Hotline hours (Monday, Wed. and Friday 9am-12pm; November-March Fridays only 9-12). See Soil Testing guide above for fees and sampling instructions.  

To learn more about the importance of pH and how to take a soil sample:

More extensive testing (i.e. nutrients):  purchase a bag from our office for $25, which you would mail in yourself, to Rutger's University for more extensive testing.  


If you are a commercial grower, you can receive technical assistance through the commercial ag program. If you have never submitted a soil sample for testing before or consulted one of our educators, contact Carrie with our Ag program at 845-340-3990 x311 or email and she will refer you to an educator for assistance. 

Soil testing for commercial growers goes through Cornell's Soil testing lab (Agro-One).  For all details and forms visit  You will collect your samples and send them into Agro-One, and one of our ag staff can help you interpret your results. To make it easier to collect soil samples we have soil probes for rent (see below).

For more accurate results, the Agro-One test asks for the soil type of the sample you are testing. Each sample should be from the same soil type. In Ulster County soil types are available as a layer on the Ulster County GIS parcel data page


Thanks to a grant from American Farmland Trust and the Duke foundation, we now have soil probes available to borrow! 

To increase the accuracy of your test and for ease of testing, soil testing probes are available to borrow from our office for quick and thorough sampling.  They provide an easy way to recover shallow soil samples into a slotted probe body in one simple step.  

There is no fee but we do require a deposit, and there is a late fee if not returned within the required time frame.  To borrow a probe, you will need to fill out this Soil Probe Check-out Form and bring it to our office (or just come in-we have forms here). 

For more information on borrowing a probe or for a referral to a commercial ag specialist, contact Carrie at 845-340-3990 x311 or email  


Carrie Anne Doyle
Program Asst. - Commercial Agriculture and Community Horticulture
(845) 340-3990 x311

Last updated November 4, 2016