Tri River Area CSU Extension - To provide information, education and to encourage the application of research-based knowledge to the communities of Delta, Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray Counties.

Soil Testing

Spring is a great time to perform a soil test. Soil tests can help determine how to effectively meet plant nutrition demands and understand any limitations. Some important elements to remember are the more taking random samples that are representative of the area managed and repeating the number of subsamples in a given area. These two principles ensure a more accurate sample. To accomplish this make a Z or M or W pattern throughout your field taking a sample at a uniform interval and take 20 subsamples at a 6” depth (which you will mix to get 1 sample that you will send to the lab) per 20 acres. The more subsamples taken the more representative it will be, but the more time it will take. We have sample bags and a soil probe at our Extension office. If it is a commercial crop production Seth Urbanowitz, our area agronomist, will come out and sample for you to work with you on a nutrient management plan that could save you time and money. You can contact Seth at

Tri-River Area Extension offices are currently closed due to precautionary measures related to COVID-19. If you do not have access to sample bags a quart size zip lock bag may be used. Ward Labs in Nebraska is still operating and has normal processing times. 

Soil Testing Resources:

Ward Laboratories Sampling Procedures

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COVID-19 Impact

The Mesa, Delta and Montrose/Ouray offices are currently closed due to precautionary measures related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). In-person Extension programming has been cancelled statewide through at least May 17th. We are still available to you, primarily by phone and email. See the Contact Us page to reach out to an Agent or click the link below for more information. Thank you.