Shipping information

Domestic Samples (originating within the continental USA)

  • Please send 1 gallon of each sample to be tested.
  • Double bag each sample and tape the closures to prevent accidental opening and spillage
  • Pack the samples tightly inside a shipping container (heavy cardboard box, plastic cooler, etc.) using newspaper, Styrofoam beads, bubble wrap, etc to prevent the samples from moving within the container if it is dropped or handled roughly.
  • Provide the following information
  1. Company Name
  2. Contact Name, mailing address and contact information (phone number, fax number and email address)
  3. Billing address and purchase order (if needed by your accounting department)
  4. Name of each sample
  5. Name of your facility
  6. Type of analysis desired
  7. Explanation of problem areas or intended use

International Samples (originating outside the continental USA)

  • Review the USDA definition of what is soil to determine whether or not your sample(s) require a permit to be received by us. Clean sand and peat samples from manufacturers do not require import permits.  Samples of existing root zone containing turf, roots, thatch or other similar organic materials do require a permit to enter this country.
  • If you determine that a permit is needed, then call or email us and we will send you the following:
    • a customized Black/White (PPQ 550) label which will include the lab name, permit number, label number and barcode.  This is required for sample tracking purposes.   One PPQ 550 label must be placed on the outside of each shipping container (box, cooler, etc).
    • a copy of our Permit To Receive Soil which you must print and place inside each shipping container (box, cooler, etc). The entire document is required.
  • Each shipping container should be sent to the address exactly as printed on the Permit to Receive Soil.
  • Packaging: The soil must be shipped by a bonded carrier in a securely closed, watertight container (primary container) which shall be enclosed in a second, durable watertight container (secondary container), such as a crush-resistant cardboard box with sealed plastic bag liner. Sufficient cushioning material should be included in the secondary container to prevent shifting of the inner primary container(s) in transit and to assist in maintaining the crush resistant properties of the secondary container.  The use of strong plastic coolers for the outer secondary container is strongly encouraged.  All seams , cracks or other openings in the outer container need to be sealed with tape to prevent any loss of sample.


Stock Pile Samples

When collecting samples for analysis, it is critical that the sample be representative of the entire stockpile, green, or other area being sampled. This can best be done by collecting numerous sub samples from the area and mixing them in a large container such as a clean 5-gallon bucket. After thorough mixing, you should remove and package the required amount of sample for submission. A detailed procedure for stockpile sampling has been assembled by the USGA & can be viewed by clicking HERE. One gallon volumes of gravel and/or sand per sample and one quart of organic amendment are needed. For soil fertility analysis, send one pint per sample. Water sample analysis requires two quarts of water. All material should be packed separately and securely. All lids should be taped to prevent accidental opening and spillage during shipment. Strong plastic bags inside strong cardboard boxes or metal cans are satisfactory. Each bag or container should be clearly marked on the outside with the sample name, facility name, and company name. Labels put inside bags are often ruined by the moisture of the soil. The more information that you can send, the better. If sending a pesticide contaminated sample, it should be packaged in a clean glass or metal container that is completely filled with sample

Core Profiles

For existing facilities, you may want to send core profile samples. The best way to collect profile samples is to take a 24 inch length of 3 or 4 inch diameter PVC pipe. Bevel one edge to make a cutting edge, and put two half inch holes about 1 inch below the other end of the pipe. Place the pipe on the soil surface in the location to be sampled, lay a block of wood on top and drive the pipe into the ground to the desired depth. If possible, go through the root zone material, the gravel, and into the sub base. This plug of sub base material will help retain the sandy root zone mix in the tube while you pull it out of the ground. Slipping a piece of 3/8 inch rebar through the two holes in the upper end of the tube will make a convenient handle to use for pulling up the pipe. Once the core is out of the ground, stuff newspaper into any vacant portion of the pipe to prevent the soil core from shifting during the shipment and either tape the ends closed or tape end caps on the pipe. Label each pipe with the location sampled and which end is the top. The pipes may be shipped individually or you may put several in a box and send them as a single unit. If you only want to test the upper 4-6 inches of the profile, you can use a cup cutter to take a plug and put it directly into a plastic bag. Wrap and package these carefully to try to keep them intact during shipment. At least two cup cutter samples from each location will be necessary to provide adequate sample volume.

Water Samples

Water samples from the irrigation system can be taken from a hose plugged into a quick coupling connection on the golf course. Sampling should be conducted when the irrigation system is active to be sure that the sample is free of stagnant water and is representative of the water actually being applied to the golf course. Clean glass mason jars that are commonly used for home canning are commonly sold at grocery stores and make good sample containers. Avoid using used soft drink containers as they often contain large amounts of phosphorous. If sampling a lake or pond, samples should be taken at several locations and depths if possible. These should be composited together and a sample of the composite should be sent for analysis. If suspended material (sediments) is important then you may want to sample before and after a rainfall or other events that may alter the sediment load of the water.