New Soil Health Testing

Soil Biological Health Score Analysis and Solvita 24 hr. CO2 Burst Test

The New Soil Health Test is now available at Holmes Laboratory to measure soil microbial activity and true potential of the soil for release of Nitrogen. We now offer two new soil tests to choose from. Please tell us which one of the following you desire when you submit your sample(s).

Collect your sample the same way as a normal soil test and submit 2-3 cups per sample, wet, or dry.

 Test Desired


Solvita 24 hr. CO2 BurstTestIncludes: Solvita 24 hr. CO2 – C This number is the ppm CO2 – C released in 24 hrs. by soil microbes after the soil has been dried and rewetted (as occurs naturally in the field). This is a measure of microbial activity in the soil and is highly related to the fertility of the soil. Also estimates the mineralizable nitrogen, Lb.N/Ac/yr.…………………………………………..39.00 each


Soil Biological Health Score(Also known as: Haney-Soil Health Analysis, or The Soil Health Tool)Includes: Solvita 24 hr. CO2 -C Burst Test, pH, Organic Matter, Soluble Salts, Water Extract for Total Nitrogen and Organic Nitrogen, and Total Organic Carbon to determine C:N ratio to make general cover crop recommendations. H3A weak acid extraction represents plant available nutrients such as: Nitrate, Ammonium, Inorganic Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Aluminum, Iron. A soil health calculation and fertilizer recommendations for Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash, and the Nitrogen savings in $/Ac by using this test.…………………………………………………$89.00 each

The New Soil Health Analysis measures soil respiration which is a gauge for soil biological activity and potentially mineralizable nitrogen. There is a strong emphasis on the economics of soil fertilization.DO NOT OVER-fertilize, because there is now a way to document your soil’s health that we already knew existed, but did not have a way of calculating.

This test will not replace standard soil testing, but it will allow us to see things that we could not account for before.

A new series of YouTube videos, called “The Science of Soil Health,” is designed to provide new insight into how to improve soil health while benefiting the environment and lowering production costs, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues. Hoorman goes on to say that “cover crops improve the soil by adding carbon, which makes the soil more productive. It also takes less fuel to plant a cover crop than it does to till the soil. The added benefit of cover crops is the increase in soil organic matter. Tillage will never make your soil better; it is a short-term benefit while cover crops are a long-term benefit.” The whole video series can be viewed on the USDA-NRCS website. To view videos: Click here ‘Science of Soil Health’ Videos

For the Information Sheet to send in with the sample(s)-Click here Soil Information Sheet.

If you are interested in knowing more about your soil fertility parameters, please follow the instructions on “How To Take A Soil Sample”.