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Soil & Water

Across West Virginia, WVU Extension Service agents and specialists work with residents and landowners to test, analyze and improve soil quality.

Browse the Soil & Homesite Guide

Whether you need fertile soil to farm, good soil to grow a lawn, or soil that drains well or compacts easily to build on, WVU Extension experts can help you yield the most of your land.

Soil & Homesite Guide

Before construction, topsoil should be salvaged and placed in a pile. Once the home is built, the area around the home should be graded and the topsoil replaced on the surface.

Conduct a Soil/Site Review

It is important to know about soil characteristics that make a site suitable for home construction or that may cause problems on an established homesite.

Determine Land Suitability for Building
Soil & Site Factors
Homeowner/Site Buyer Recommendations
Final Comments
Clean composted soil for cultivation.

Composting for Beginners

Composting is an environmentally-friendly way to add nutrients back to the soil while also reducing the amount of waste generated.

A rake and a shovel in a mound of dirt.

Improve Soil Test Recommendations

If you're submitting a soil sample to grow hay, pasture, corn, barley, wheat, soybeans, oats, small grain silage or grain sorghum, it's important to determine the predominant soil series within your field.

2018 WVU Soil Test Changes
How to Select Your Dominant Soil Series
How Farmers Can Determine the Dominant Soil Series & Field Size
How to Use the Web Soil Survey
lime blower in pasture

Liming Soil

A training to better understand and improve the management of liming to modify soil pH for nutrient management and crop production.

Liming Soil Educational Videos
Truck in field applying poultry litter

Managing Phosphorus Saturated Soils

Repeated litter applications in West Virginia's eastern panhandle have resulted in an accumulation of phosphorus in agricultural soils, increasing the potential of nutrient losses to waterways. 

Introduction to Phosphorus Saturated Soils
A copy of WVU's Soil Test Form sits on the ground amid plants and containers.

Using the WVU Soil Testing Report

The WVU Soil Testing Lab report is divided into four sections – submission information, laboratory test results, fertilizer recommendations and recommendation notes. Refer to it when ready to amend your soil.

WVU Soil Testing Lab

Contact the Lab

WVU Soil Testing Lab

1405 Agricultural Sciences Building
1194 Evansdale Dr, PO Box 6108,
Morgantown, WV 26506-6108
email Email Eugenia Pena-Yewtukhiw
phone 304-293-5375

Monday - Friday | 8:15 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Closed on WVU Holidays

Collect & Submit Soil Samples

Take & Submit a Soil Sample

Soil & Homesite News

How to Purchase Electrical Conductivity & Organic Matter Determination

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.

Read How to Purchase Electrical Conductivity & Organic Matter Determination

WVU Soil Testing Lab Changes

As of September 2018, the  WVU Soil Testing Lab has made some changes, and here's what you need to know for an effective, informative soil test.

A person tills dirt with a motorized tiller.

Read WVU Soil Testing Lab Changes

Expert Help

Get soil and homesite assistance
Tom Basden

Tom Basden

Extension Specialist – Nutrient Management

phone 304-293-2602

About Tom Basden

Ed Rayburn

Ed Rayburn

Extension Specialist – Forage Agronomy

phone 304-293-2654

About Ed Rayburn

Jeff Skousen

Jeff Skousen

WVU Extension Specialist – Land Reclamation, Professor of Soil Science

phone 304-293-2667

About Jeff Skousen