Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Suite G-102
Bay City, Michigan 48708-5124
Voice: (989) 895-4026
Fax: (989) 895-4217

Diagnostic Services

The following diagnostic services are available through MSU Extension - Bay County. Details on how to collect and submit samples, as well as the costs associated with each of these services, can be found on the Diagnostic Services webpage. For more information on any of these services, contact MSU Extension - Bay County at (989) 895-4026, or e-mail

  • Plant Health Analysis
  • Plant / Weed Identification
  • Insect, Spider, Tick or Other Arthropod Identification
  • Nematode Analysis
  • Verticillium Analysis (potato soil or stems only)

Soil Testing

Home Lawn/Garden Soil Sample

You may come into our office to purchase a self-mailer kit. The cost is $25 which includes the shipping and handling for it to be sent to the Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab on Campus.

- OR -

You can visit our site and order a self-mailer kit - follow instructions on the kit.

Soil Test for Field/Crops (Food Plots)

You may come into our office to purchase a soil test box in which we will provide you with the box and the information sheet that you will fill out and send in with the box. The soil boxes for farm/field crops do NOT include shipping - you purchase the box for $12 from us and then you must pay the shipping when you send out your soil.

- OR -

You can submit a sample directly to the lab, by enclosing approximately two cups of soil in a zip type sandwich bag. Enclose a check made out to MSU for $12 per sample (Standard test).

Fill out an information sheet Field/Crop Soil (pdf) and send along with your sample to:

 MSU Soil Plant Nutrient Lab
1066 Bogue St. Rm. A81
East Lansing, MI 48824


**Please note: At this time, payment for services or purchases by debit or credit card is not available. If you come into the office to purchase something, we can take cash or check. Checks can be made payable to Michigan State University. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For more information on soil tests and sampling please visit our Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take for results to come back on my soil sample?
Depending on the time of year, it may take from ten days to two weeks for soil test results to arrive in your regular, postal mail.  Generally, spring and autumn are very busy times for the Soil Testing Lab, so results take a day or two longer to process.

Can I pick up soil testing kits in your office and use them myself?
Yes you can! Please see the details above for a more in depth information.

How do I know if I need to submit more than one sample?
For most home gardens (whether they are flower or vegetable gardens), one sample is generally sufficient.  Just make sure you follow the guidelines listed online when collecting your sample.  Home owners who are interested in testing the soil in which their lawn grows often request two samples; one each for the front and back yard, for example.  Agricultural producers will want to submit a different sample for each field they want tested.  This enables us to specify which crops will be grown in each field, and the pattern of your crop rotation.

Can a soil test tell what kind of toxins may be present in my soil?
Unfortunately, no.  The only information a soil test will provide concerns the nutrients and the acidity of the soil.  If you suspect a toxin may be present in your soil, you should seek out an independent laboratory capable of testing for specific toxins.

For more common questions click here

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