If you are sending samples in to be tested for Biological activity, we ask that you sample your soils, not in the winter. If you sample your soils during the winter, while the ground is frozen, the biological activity will not be representative of the true activity as there is limited activity in frozen soils.
Sample storage and shipment
Quick guide to sample shipment and storage:
Make sure to include your samples submission form (download submission form) and a data sheet with the respective information (ex. penetrometer readings, water infiltration, etc), if applicable. Save a copy of the information submitted to the lab for your records.
Each sample unit should be bagged individually in a 1-gallon plastic (Ziploc) bag. Make sure that each bag is properly labeling with the sampling field ID unit. Double bag your samples if it is necessary. Several samples bag can be placed in a larger plastic bag.
Place your sample(s) in a cardboard box or small cooler. Place the submission form inside a plastic bag and put it in the box. Make sure that the samples are well packed. Add packing material if it is needed to minimize sample movement.
Ship samples immediately to the laboratory; ensure that the sample arrives at the lab during business hours.
When temperatures are hot, you might use an ice pack(s) for sending the samples. Any ice packs sent will be sent back to the sender. All samples should be kept cool (4 °C) if they are not sent right away to the lab.
Ship to CARA as soon as possible:
CARA's Soil Health Lab
Need a physical mailing address?
Highway 41 E
or 141 5th Street East