1. What do growers use your soil test results for?
Growers can use our soil test results for decisions pertaining to land leasing, pre-planting for crop determination, soil treatment decisions, evaluation of disease mitigation treatments etc.
2. How do I send you soil samples?
The first step is to place an order through our website for a soil sampling kit. After you receive our kit, follow instructions for soil sampling (see below for how to to use our kit). Ship soil samples using your preferred mail carrier to:
953 Indiana St.
San Francisco. CA 94107.
3. How do I use your Soil Sampling Kit?
1. Gather materials
Trace Genomics soil sampling kit + shovel or other soil sampling device.
2. Fill out sample submission form and label samples
Use the sharpie provided to fill in information about your sample. Pick one ziplock bag and one tube with soil preservation solution to submit your sample. Peel a barcode label from the sample submission form and stick on the ziplock bag. Peel and stick another barcode label on the tube sideways (along the length of the tube).
3. Collect soil samples from the field
Using the shovel or other soil sampling device (not included in kit), gather three or more shovelfuls or cores of soil in one paper bag. Mix well.
4. Measure soil into ziplock bag
Open one ziplock bag. Using the large scooper provided, measure one scoop (half a cup) of soil from the paper bag and place into ziplock bag. DO NOT add more than one scoop. DO NOT fill higher than fill line on ziplock bag. Discard excess soil and paper bag.
5. Measure soil into tube
Unscrew tube carefully so as not to spill the preservation solution.
Using the small scooper provided in the kit, measure 1 ml of soil from the ziplock bag and and carefully add into tube (up to the fill line on the tube). DO NOT add more than this amount to the tube. Close the tube and shake vigorously for at least 5 seconds to completely mix soil and preservation solution. Place tube into ziplock bag containing the scoop of soil. Close ziplock bag.
6. Repeat steps (1) through (5) for each sample that you want to send for testing
With this kit, you can send in 1-7 samples for testing. If you need additional soil sampling bags and tubes, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Prepare for shipping
Place the ziplock bags in a padded mailer or a mailing box (not included in kit). Seal properly. Mail your box to: Trace Genomics, 953 Indiana St., San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.
WARNING: Do not ingest the preservation solution or the bead in the tube. Wash with
water if your skin, eyes or mouth comes in contact with the solution. Keep out of reach
Store all collected samples at room temperature. Send us your samples within 2 days
Your test results will be available approximately 3 weeks from the time we receive
4. What is the difference between a 'soil core' and a 'soil sample'?
A soil core is a shovelful of earth. These shovelfuls may then be combined to form a soil sample (i.e., multiple soil cores make up a single soil sample).
5. Do I need to fill in all details on the Sample Submission Form?
At the very minimum, you should fill in Sections 1 through 4 (Client information, Payment information, Field information and Sample information). We will not process your samples without this information. Filling in the rest of the information allows you to quickly compare how crop, treatment and disease histories change microbe profiles in your soil over time, and across different fields.
6. How deep should the soil core be?
This is dependent on the crop you’ve planted, or are planning to plant. For example, for lettuce or strawberry crops with short root systems, a 3-6 inch deep core will suffice. For crops like onion and raspberry with deeper root systems, we recommend that you send us soil samples taken at depths of 7-12 inches or 12-24 inches.
7. Should I sample the soil in between rows or plants, or should I sample closer to the roots?
We recommend sampling closer to crop roots because the microbes in and around crop root systems are better predictors of crop disease and health, compared to microbes in soil sampled in between rows or plants. If you are sampling from a bare field, samples can be taken from
8. How many samples should I send you from each field?
The number of samples from each field depends on the number of plots in the field. We define a plot as a piece of ground with consistent soil texture, microclimate, cropping history and treatment history. We suggest that customers send us one soil sample (aggregated from at least three cores) for each plot from a field. If you are interested in comparing diseased and non-diseased areas of your field, we recommend that you send us soil samples from the diseased area, and three samples from a non-diseased “control” area. If you need additional assistance on where and how to sample soil, please email us at email@example.com, or call us at +1 831 296 0111.
9. Your Soil Sampling Kit has enough material to send 7 soil samples. Does this mean I need to send (and pay for) all 7 samples at the same time?
You are not required to send us all 7 samples at the same time. You only pay for the number of samples that you ship to us at any given time.
10. How do I pay for the samples I want tested?
You can pay by credit card online, when you place an order for your kit. Alternatively, you can send us payment by check when you ship us your soil samples.
11. Which crops do you currently offer support for soil testing, and how soon will you expand to other crops?
We’re starting with a Soil Pathogen Panel test for diseases affecting strawberry and lettuce. This is just the beginning - we’re rapidly launching the test for new crops in the coming months, so stay tuned!
12. What is your turnaround time?
The turnaround time is approximately 3 weeks from the time we receive your sample.
13. How do we protect your data and Personal Information?
14. Can I invite others to try your product?
Yes, certainly! You can refer friends after you place an order for our kit, or when you log into your account online through the “Refer a Friend” link on your account dashboard. Alternatively, you can direct them to our website so they can order a new kit from us. For ensuring integrity of our product and security of their data, we recommend that you not share your kit with others.
15. How do I share my results with my PCA or CCA?
Once we have processed your soil samples, you will receive an email with your report in pdf form that you can share with your PCA or CCA. You can also login to your account and share specific portions of your report with your advisors.
16. How long do you store my report in case I lose the report that was emailed to me?
You can access your report at any time by logging in to your secure Trace Genomics account. Reports will not be deleted unless specifically requested.
17. Is there a number I can call for direct assistance?