Keep Your Samples Safe!

With the growing season winding down, many of you are beginning to think ahead to collecting fall soil samples. With the time and effort that you put into collecting those samples, we want to make sure that they arrive safe and sound, and in good condition. Following are some suggestions to ensure that your samples arrive safely and can be processed without delay.

  1. Use appropriate sample containers. Soil samples in paper envelopes and liquid samples in ziplock bags may be lost in shipment. We can provide you with the correct bags, bottles and boxes.
  2. Send a sample that is representative of the material you are testing. Very small and extremely large volumes of samples may affect the analysis results.
  3. Make sure all sample containers are closed and securely fastened. If a sample can spill… it will. 
  4. Include a sample submittal form that lists all of the sample information, reference information, tests requested, special information, and your account number. Submittal forms can be found at, or you can contact the laboratory.  
  5. Pack your box carefully. Using the sample submittal form as your packing order can help you identify when a sample is missing before you ship the box.
  6. Use a shipping box that is the right size. Small samples packed in large boxes can bounce around and be damaged in shipment.  Pack open spaces with crumpled newspaper.
  7. Use a shipping box that is rated for the weight that you’re shipping. We receive boxes each year which have broken apart from the weight of the samples.
  8. Protect your back – and ours. Avoid shipping overweight sample boxes.  Our chiropractor will thank you.
  9. Make sure your return address is on the shipping box – even if it is inside one of the box flaps. This can help determine who to contact in case of a problem.
  10. If you are shipping samples in multiple boxes, please mark the boxes 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3… this will help the lab technicians get your boxes back together, and will help us determine if a box is missing in shipment.

Relationships. They’re the most important things we help grow.