Soil testing goes digital

Steve Heckendorn checks on the progress of an analysis at the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory.

Farmers, homeowners, and landscapers can now receive the results of their soil tests online, thanks to the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences.

The lab typically processes more than 50,000 soil samples annually for farmers and urban clients. It used to take five to eight business days to perform a routine soil fertility analysis and for clients to receive the results in the mail.

“Now, the grower can see the results immediately after the reports are generated, which may be just two or three days after the lab receives the soil sample,” said Steve Heckendorn, laboratory manager. “Clients are still encouraged to contact their local Virginia Cooperative Extension agents with help in interpreting the results.”

For more information, visit or contact your local Extension office.