Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News

Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Producers save money, Boost yields with OSU Soil Testing 
Oklahoma State University is a national leader in soil, water and forage testing. The commercial laboratory processes more than 60,000 samples a year and is accessible to the public through OSU Extension.

From cattle ranchers to urban gardeners, the state testing facility helps producers save money, increase yields and protect the environment. In Tulsa County, the OSU Extension office is a seasonal hot spot for vegetable growers and lawn care specialists seeking nutrient analysis of their soil. Brian Jervis, Tulsa County Extension educator and horticulture specialist, said his office collects more than 1,500 samples a year and is the first stop for many nurseries and greenhouses.

“Whether it’s a problem with their vegetables or a question about turf varieties, soil testing is the first thing we recommend to clients,” he said.

Tulsa County Extension personnel help members of the public fill out the inquiry forms that accompany a soil, water or forage sample. Clients often are interested in OSU’s chemical analysis for projects related to lawn care, gardening and the planting of fruit trees. For basic lawn testing, they are advised to take 15-20 cores from each sampling area using a soil probe that extracts a 6-inch profile. Casey Hentges, OSU consumer horticulture specialist, demonstrates how to take a sample and bust up the cores in a bucket in this episode of Oklahoma Gardening. Once the soil is blended and any visible plant material and rocks are removed, the sample is placed in a Ziploc bag or special sample bag available at all county Extension offices. The soil is mailed to the state lab in Stillwater where Hailin Zhang, lab director and OSU Extension nutrient management specialist, oversees all analysis.

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