Apr 1, 2020
Plant and soil service labs open during COVID-19 shutdowns

Michigan State University’s Plant & Pest Diagnostics and Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory are still open for business during Michigan’s “Stay Home & Stay Safe” executive order with modified operations.

Effective March 25, 2020, both Plant & Pest Diagnostics and Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory are no longer accepting walk-in consultations. Samples can be mailed to both labs and Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory is also accepting dropped-off samples as described below. During this time, the labs can be reached most reliably via email: [email protected] for Plant & Pest Diagnostics and [email protected] for Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory. Processing times may take longer than usual to ensure the safety of the laboratory teams and their families.

Plant & Pest Diagnostics modified operations

For samples that need plant health assessment, insect or plant identification, a preliminary email ([email protected]) with digital images is highly encouraged to see if a diagnosis or an identification can be made without a physical sample. Please remember to photograph the injury symptoms up close and at a distance and include details on any patterns, timing, chemical applications, etc. – the same information typically requested on the general sample submission form.

If you plan to submit a nematode soil sample, physical plant health sample or the lab requests a physical sample, please email [email protected] so we are aware your package is coming. Please do not ship samples on Fridays and whenever possible, use USPS. Finally, please include a completed copy of the appropriate submission form.

Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory modified operations

The Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory continues to operate as normal during this time and results are going out within 10 days of receipt.

Customers unable to secure Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory soil test boxes from their MSU Extension county offices due to closures related to COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by novel coronavirus, can mail their samples in Ziplock bags direct to the lab. Print off the information sheet from the website to accompany the samples along with a check made out to MSU for the correct amount from the fee scheduleIt is recommended samples also be sent using USPS.

Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory samples can also be dropped off at the loading dock on the south side of the Plant and Soil Sciences Building, 1066 Bogue St. East Lansing, MI 48834. Samples must be left on the designated cart on the loading dock. Submission forms can be found on the cart and samples that are not in pre-paid Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory soil boxes will be billed after sample completion.

For more information on the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on university operations, please visit MSU’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus website.


Tomato injured from ethylene exposure, right. Photo: MSU Plant & Pest Diagnostics.


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