At the beginning of 2020, the WVU Soil Testing Lab added a new analytical test. Electrical conductivity (EC) determination is now being offered at $3 per sample. Electrical conductivity is a measurement that relates to the amount of salts in your soil sample (salinity). It is reported in deciSiemens per meter (dS/m) units. This test is most useful to manage soils in high tunnels.
The lab also provides organic matter (OM) determination at $6 per sample. Organic matter is determined in the lab using the loss on ignition (LOI) method. It is reported in percentage of weight. Monitoring changes in soil organic matter should be of interest for all farmers wanting to improve crop productivity on their farms.
Electrical conductivity and organic matter are additional analyses to the standard soil testing results that are a free service to West Virginia residents. To purchase EC and OM tests for one or more soil samples, WVU Extension Service has set up an online store. The store is located at: https://go.wvu.edu/SoilTestStore.
This will take you to the store’s homepage. There are two options for the customer. If you would like to track your purchases, select account at the top left of the screen and enter an email and a password to establish your account. Each time you purchase items, sign in at the returning customer account location. If you do not want to set up an account, you can just click on the Soil Electrical Conductivity Test or the Soil Organic Matter options found under Featured Products.
Select EC or OM, and you will be asked to provide your name, sample ID or location, comments and the date your sample was mailed or dropped off at the lab (Figure 1).
Figure 1. WVU Soil Testing Store EC page.
Then, click to add to your basket. Once you have added all the tests to your basket, make payment by credit card. You will receive an email from WVU that confirms your purchases and provides you with an order number. Fill out the soil test submission form, checking the yes boxes next for organic matter or electrical conductivity. Include your order number from the store in the comment section of the form for each of the samples that you purchased EC and/or OM. Below is an example of a correctly filled out submission form (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Soil Test Submission Form with EC selected and payment
order # in Comment section.
If you have problems or questions with the e-commerce site, please contact the WVU Extension Service site administrators: Katie Herlihy, ANR Office Administrator, 304-293-2561, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Tom Basden, Extension Specialist – Nutrient Management, 304-293-2602 or 304-282-2239, email@example.com.