With the need to modernize and update the requirements of soil testing in Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Soil Testing and Research Analytical Lab has gotten a $3 million overhaul. "The lab is really one of the largest service laboratories in the university system said Brian Barber, director of the Soil Testing and Research Analytical Lab. The new equipment will increase automation along with lower detection limits which will improve testing for trace minerals or micronutrients.

The funding for the upgrade came from the Minnesota legislature through the Education, Extension and Technology Transfer Program. The new equipment was funded by the University of Minnesota and grant writing. In addition the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council was involved in many parts of the upgrade.

Being perfectly honest I did not know the University of Minnesota had a soil testing lab. When I have my Agronomist with the Coop grid sample my farms I have never even asked where the soil samples are sent. I guess I trust my Agronomist that I am getting good information.