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Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES)

The MAFES Analytical Laboratory and Maine Soil Testing Service is located in Deering Hall on the University of Maine campus. (driving direction)

We are available Monday through Friday between 8 and 5. We provide analytical services at reasonable prices to the public and to researchers.

We analyze soil, plant tissue, compost, manure, irrigation water, wood ash, fertilizers, organic residuals and other materials for nutrient content, organic matter, lead and other trace elements.

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Spring 2016

Happy Spring to all our customers. After a truly bizarre winter that almost wasn’t, everyone is anxiously awaiting warmer weather and the chance to plant. While you are waiting for the weather (and the soil) to warm up, why not take the opportunity to sample your soil. Find out what you need (and don’t need) to add this growing season. We will provide recommendations to adjust soil pH, organic matter, and nutrient levels to the OPTIMUM range for plant growth and best yield.

In early spring, we recommend you ask for the basic Standard Soil Test. Plant-available nitrogen (nitrate) measured during the season is much more meaningful than a measurement in spring or in the late fall. The Comprehensive Soil Test, which includes nitrate, is best run after Memorial Day, when the soil has warmed and normal biological activity has resumed.

Soil Biological Health can be checked at any time, by asking for the Soil Biology Test. This add- on test measures the microbial biomass in your soil. Dry soil is rewet and incubated for 24 hours. Dormant microbes reactivate in the moist soil, providing a burst of concentrated respiration which is measured by the amount of carbon dioxide released. Interpretation and recommendations to improve and maintain Soil Health are provided with the report.

For more information, click on
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