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Frequently Asked Questions

Why have I not received my soil test results?

Soil Samples are processed and Reports are created five to ten business days after arrival. Missing or hard to read information on the Soil Test Form, excessively wet samples, or shipping errors may cause a delay in processing time. Reports are sent directly to the emails provided on the Soil Test Form and a copy is always emailed to the county extension office designated on the Soil Test Form. To receive a copy of the Soil Test Report, please contact your local extension office. If you had samples taken by the conservation services, contact your cooperating office to see if they have received your reports.

I lost my soil test report, how can I get a copy?

To receive additional copies of the report contact your local extension office or the Soil Testing Laboratory. To retrieve the soil test report, we need the full name, zip code, and phone number listed on the original soil test form.

Do I need to pay for my soil test report?

The basic soil test is free of charge to all West Virginia residents. Additional soil tests are available for a fee. The WVU Soil Testing Laboratory reserves the right to charge for processing of any out of state or research samples.

How are my recommendations generated?

West Virginia University is the Land Grant Institution responsible for applying scientifically based analysis and recommendations based on farm and laboratory experiments for West Virginia.

Why did I not receive any recommendations with my report?

Recommendations should only be missing from reports if the crop code choice “19-other” was chosen. Contact your county extension office for assistance in creating a lime and fertilizer recommendation for your specialty crops. If you did not select choice “19-other” and you feel that you should have received a recommendation please contact the WVU Soil Testing Laboratory.

How do I read my soil test report?

For information on how to read your soil test reports please download the “Reading Your Soil Test Report “document found in the Soil Test Report tab. If you have additional questions relating to your soil test report please contact your local agriculture extension agent.

Who can help me to understand my recommendations?

To better understand the soil test report please read the “Reading Your Soil Test Report” document under the Soil Test Report tab. If you have additional questions relating to your recommendations please contact your local agriculture extension agent.

Where can I find a soil sampler/ probe?

If you wish to buy a soil sampler they are available from many online retailers. The soil testing laboratory and many local extension offices have samplers available for you to borrow by request. However, commercial soil samplers are not necessary to complete a proper soil test, alternative instruments such as a small spade or shovel may be used to take your soil sample.

Can I visit the Soil Test Lab?

We would be pleased to set up an appointment for tours of our facilities. If you wish to schedule a tour please contact us by email at or (304) 295-5375 during normal working hours.

How do I know I took a good sample?

Examples of soil samples and written instructions for taking good samples can be found in the literature provided in the “Sampling and Determining Texture” and “Mailing Instructions” tabs.

Can I make a donation to the lab?

If you wish to make a donation to The WVU Soil Testing Laboratory, please mail a check to our office.

How long does it take the lab to process a soil sample and get my reports?

Depending on the moisture level of the received samples, the soil must be dried and prepared for chemical analysis, this takes approximately two days. The chemical analysis will be performed over a two day period. The chemical analyses results will be paired with the information provide on the soil test form, recommendations will be generated, and the final report emailed to customers and extension offices within the next two working days. During the high volume season this timeline is likely to be extended. Processing timelines will be updated on the home page on a weekly basis.