In response to the growing interest in soil health, Woods End Laboratories has upgraded its traditional set of soil tests to form an integrated, biologically oriented protocol, called the “Soil Health Tool.” Components of the new approach are the soil quality “triangle”: physical, chemical and biological factors, expressed as a unified test.

The new Soil Health Tool protocol gives an overview of biological activity of the soil system, including respiration plus available microbial food, and integrates this in order to show the supply of available and potentially available nutrients with emphasis on accounting for nitrogen (N) behavior. A new soil extract, “Haney H3A,” is used to simulate soil biochemical mechanisms of nutrient supply. It is somewhat similar to the European CAL (lactic acid based) extracts designed to mimic low ionic strength soil systems with organic acids similar to plant-root exudates. The N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) report takes into account soluble nutrients and those expected to become available due to the healthy functioning of the soil system. The report is designed to save costs on nutrient fertilization and provide suggestions to improving soil health.

Woods End’s Soil Health Toolbox:

  • Accounts for soil microbial biomass, with a view that this is very nutrient-relevant;
  • Evaluates N + P mineralization potential, the core of the nutrient supply mechanism for plants;
  • Represents nutrients likely to be “plant relevant” from lighter-weight extractants;
  • Evaluates quality of the pool of soil organic carbon (this page updated Jan 29 2016).

Mini Soil ;Test:

  • A new “mini” offering is intended as a companion test to common soil nutrient analyses in order to add information about biological traits. It contains all the Solvita tests (CO2-Burst, SLAN, VAST, Water soluble carbon (WSOC), water soluble-N (organic and inorganic).

The Regular Soil Health Test:

  • Formerly called the Premium Test, it includes: Nutrients in Haney H3A extract (calcium, magnesium, P, K, sodium, iron, aluminum) plus Solvita CO2, Solvita SLAN and Aggregate Stability. Water soluble carbon (WSOC), water soluble-N (organic and inorganic), nitrate, soil organic matter and pH.
    sample report

What you get:

  • A comprehensive report with a Soil Health Score and Fertility Score. The standardized score uses an open source formula from USDA. The fertility score shows the expected total available supply (based on expected crops) integrated with soil quality.
  • Interpretation Guide: Each customer receives a full interpretation guideline with the report.
  • Please provide the following:
    1. The soil sample (wet or dry) in a quart sized ziplock bag, with the date of the sample and the intended crops. If the location is different than the zip code on the order, please provide specific GPS or sample zip code information which we use to map to your climate zone.
    2. Sample Information Form: Please attach the following Sample information with each order. **Mail to Woods End's PO BOX if sending via USPS, or its street address if sending via UPS or FEDEX.**