Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory (SPNL) is an essential part of Michigan State University. The lab provides support to teaching, research and extension programs. The SPNL offers a variety of analytical services on samples of soil, greenhouse growth media, composts, plant tissue, water and other materials related to the growing of plants (crops) received from commercial and part-time farmers, greenhouse operations, golf courses, homeowners, consultants, researchers, and others.
Soil and plant tissue testing is the foundation for extension programs in many counties in Michigan. Many MSU departments, researchers use SPNL to analyze soil, plant and water samples as part of their research programs.
The SPNL extends its reach to the general public through educational displays and presentations at expositions, conferences and meetings of organizations. Numerous groups tour the SPNL facilities throughout the year. Educational presentations and tours of the SPNL are part of five courses taught in the department of Horticulture and Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.