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, and our services for soil testing are outlined in this printable sheet: Soil Testing for Home Gardeners.  

Soil pH testing:  We test pH of soil at our office for $3 for the first sample and $1 for additional samples.  You can drop off a sample anytime we are open (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) and the testing is done through during Horticulture Hotline hours (Monday, Wed. and Friday 9am-12pm; winter hours November-March Fridays only 9-12). See Soil Testing guide above for fees and sampling instructions.  

More extensive testing (i.e. pH plus nutrients):  You can purchase a bag from our office for $25, which you would mail in yourself, to Rutger's University for more extensive testing.  See Soil Testing guide above for fees and instructions.


Commercial producers can receive technical assistance through Commercial Ag Program educators.  For a list of staff and their areas of expertise, click here, or contact Carrie at 845-340-3990 x311 or email to find assistance based on what you produce. 

Soil testing for commercial growers is generally handled 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).

You will need to indicate the soil type of the sample you are testing on the Agro-One test form, so 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  For additional questions on your soil type or using the parcel data page, consult Ulster County Soil and Water at 845-883-7162 (Highland office) or 845-688-3047 (Shokan office).  


Soil testing probes are available to borrow for up to 2 weeks for $5, plus an $80 refundable deposit (check or cash only).  The probes provide a quick and easy way to recover shallow soil samples into a slotted probe body.  For all details and fees refer to this Soil Probe Check-out Form, which you will fill out when you pick up the probe.

Last updated April 19, 2017