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Advanced Quality

RFIDs, Moisture Tracking, 20 QC tests per sample lead to better accuracy

Our business is based on the integrity of our results. We started building our laboratory tools in 2009 and have conducted trials with 10 other labs and dozens of customers. We participate in all of the national certification programs and work with state governments. When Solum built its laboratory processes to handle field moist soils, we were able to incorporate processes and technology that did not exist 10 years ago.


Our process

  • Every sample is associated with an RFID tag and automatically run through 20 or more quality checks before the results are delivered.
  • Efficient microwave moisture measurement system enables measurement by weight, not approximate volume.
  • Industrial wet mill system designed specifically for use with moist soils creates consistent results.
  • Chemical analysis completed by robotic tools that process biotech-industry-standard multi-well plates, leading to consistency and traceability during peak operation hours.
  • Custom, cloud-based computer system tracks samples within the lab and delivers results. Fosters communication between technicians and quality control engineers that review the results and improve the system between seasons.


Fast Results

Nitrate in minutes, Traditional results in hours. Our process is streamlined for volume.

We understand the producers are constantly facing time pressures to get their work done. Growers who need answers during the season can use our No-Wait Nitrate to quantify their crops’ needs. All other tools are designed to fit in seamlessly with existing process flows. There’s no question that field moist processing takes more work, but Solum’s engineers have built a suite of products that allows results to be delivered in as little as 6 hours. Average turnaround time in the spring of 2013 was between one and two days. solum_van

Measurement Process Flow

  • Homogenize sample
  • Measure moisture of subsample
  • Make soil slurry (by weight)
  • Traditional Extraction (M3, Bray, Olsen and KCL)
  • Measurement on ICP/FIA
  • pH measured on slurry subsample
  • OM done via LOI subsample

There was no point in university researchers making recommendations for a process that wasn’t used. That’s now changed with the introduction of rapid field moist sample analysis by Solum, through its soils lab in Ames, Iowa…Doors to the new lab opened Sept. 17, 2012. Solum ran between 2,000 and 2,500 samples a day in its first week, with results out in three days or fewer of samples’ arrival.”

— Moist Soil Sample Provides Precision, Better Accuracy in Estimating Potassium, Jim Ruen, Corn and Soybean Digest, Mar. 27, 2013


About Solum™

Solum’s™ mission is to develop software and measurement technology that makes the business of Agriculture simpler and more productive. Our advanced soil nutrient and fertilizer response models are developed by Solum's™ industry leading soil measurement laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

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615 South Bell Avenue
Ames, IA 50010
(515) 661-5500

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