Soil testing

Basic soil testing analyzes nutrient content and fertility status. Results include fertilizer and lime recommendations. Additional tests are available for nutrient management plans, environmental issues, potting mixes, compost, manure and water usage. Each sample should contain about 1½ cups of dry soil from 6 to 7 inches deep. Consult our soil testing publications for specific instructions. Results are typically provided within two weeks.

$18 per sample. We have a soil auger or probe available for checkout, to assist you with taking your sample. Please note, Christian County takes checks or cash only for soil tests.

Hay testing

Mailing materials and probes, or hay samplers, for forage testing by commercial labs are available as a convenience to our clients. Probes/samplers are recommended to get a proper sample.

A hand-crank or electrically-driven probe for taking forage samples is available for loan. Hay samples should consist of a total of at least 10 cores taken from the rounded side of 5 large round bales or from the end of 10 small square bales for each lot of hay. The hay sample should fit into a quart size baggie for mailing off to the Lab.

Canner gauge tests

Testing for dial-type pressure canner lids is available. Dial-type gauges should be tested annually to ensure accuracy and prevent bacterial contamination of preserved foods. (Testing is not necessary for weighted gauges.)

Testing is free and is available during normal business hours. We recommend new or replacement gauges also be tested for accuracy.

Private pesticide applicator training

MU Extension provides private pesticide applicator training for producers as required for Missouri Department of Agriculture certification. Individuals must purchase or bring a copy of MU Extension publication M87, Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual, to the training. Manuals may be purchased at the extension center.

The cost for materials associated with the training is $25. The training typically takes 2.5 hours and can be completed face-to-face or via video in our office. Call to schedule an appointment if you wish to watch the video. Group training for new and/or renewal certifications are generally offered in February of each year. Training required every 5 years.


MU Extension has publications on agriculture, natural resources, lawn and garden, home and consumer life, nutrition and health, families, community and leadership development, business and careers, emergency management and other topics. Prices vary by publication. 

Popular Publications we have in stock: Weed and Brush Control Guide for Forages, Pastures and Non-cropland; Garden Journal + Calendar; Complete Guide to Home Canning; Four-Year Depreciation Records; Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual

Distance education test proctoring

MU Extension proctors tests for students enrolled in Mizzou Online courses.

Call to schedule your test 417-581-3558.

Plant and insect identification

Plant and insect samples may be brought to the extension office for identification or disease diagnosis. Recommendations for managing pests, weeds and diseases are provided.

Plant disease diagnosis

Plant disease, insect and weed diagnosis is available for field crops, ornamentals, vegetables, fruits and turfs.

Small business development assistance: Transforming Missouri businesses

MoSBTDCMU Extension business specialists provide assistance to those wanting to start, maintain or expand a business through the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), and via Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC), which guide firms interested in doing contract business with federal, state and local governments. MO SBTDC specialized services include assistance with technology and product commercialization, international trade, market research and energy and environmental issues.