Charging for Soil Samples

Turfdoctor1

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Springdale, AR
It is our state law that we have to have a soil sample on record for each customer. Even if it wasn't, we would like to do this for the benefit of the customer. The state runs the samples at no cost to us (other than the tax payer dollar).

But, it is going to take us nearly 3 weeks for 2 employees to take the samples. That is a lot of cost. I am planning on charging a small fee to offset these costs. The fee would be equivalent of a $1.5 per treatment increase, and I have not increased our prices in seven years of business.

Just curious if any of you have charged for soil sampling and if you would be offended if you got a renewal letter in the mail with an additional $10 charge for soil sampling if you were one of our well taken care of customers.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Naturally you will want a letter or handout blaming the extra cost on the government, but also detailing how it will result in benefits to the customer, as for instance, avoiding excess phosphorus, correcting acid soil, and detecting the need for extra potash. you are going to give them a copy of the test results--right? Be sure to write each customer a note giving them expert evaluation and interpretation of the soil test and expert advice on how to manage grass on their particular soil. And some hints on how to keep their trees healthy, (and bushes), and also advice on how best to use their soil to grow vegetables. You are their personal soil expert like their personal doctor--very valuable--so they should never switch companies.

You are not going to charge everyone for this are you? Only those that don't already have a soil test--right.
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
You should have already pulled soil samples/tests when you started maintaining the site, and following soil tests every 2-3 years to monitor the effectiveness of the management program. That said, of course you charge for it providing you actually use the results to better manage the site. If you plan on going about business as usual and ignore the soil test results, then don't charge for it.
 

fl-landscapes

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
MA
If the state mandates this then why isn't it built into your estimate when you sign up each customer? Spread out over the entire program cost and not an extra seeing as it's the law?


It is our state law that we have to have a soil sample on record for each customer. Even if it wasn't, we would like to do this for the benefit of the customer. The state runs the samples at no cost to us (other than the tax payer dollar).

But, it is going to take us nearly 3 weeks for 2 employees to take the samples. That is a lot of cost. I am planning on charging a small fee to offset these costs. The fee would be equivalent of a $1.5 per treatment increase, and I have not increased our prices in seven years of business.

Just curious if any of you have charged for soil sampling and if you would be offended if you got a renewal letter in the mail with an additional $10 charge for soil sampling if you were one of our well taken care of customers.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
It is our state law that we have to have a soil sample on record for each customer. Even if it wasn't, we would like to do this for the benefit of the customer. The state runs the samples at no cost to us (other than the tax payer dollar).

But, it is going to take us nearly 3 weeks for 2 employees to take the samples. That is a lot of cost. I am planning on charging a small fee to offset these costs. The fee would be equivalent of a $1.5 per treatment increase, and I have not increased our prices in seven years of business.

Just curious if any of you have charged for soil sampling and if you would be offended if you got a renewal letter in the mail with an additional $10 charge for soil sampling if you were one of our well taken care of customers.
Wasn't aware this was a law in Arkansas. Could you direct me to where I can this to read up on.
 
OP
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Turfdoctor1

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Springdale, AR
I think it is county dependent. It's because of the Illinois Watershed Lawsuit. Effects us in NW Arkansas.

Natural Resource Commishion is the governing body. Again, not sure if it is state wide, or county based. But, we are required to have a Fertilizer applicator license, not apply any P unless stated on soil tests, continuing education, and soil tests for all areas managed (if you manage more than 2 acres).

Website: http://www.anrc.arkansas.gov/conservation division/applicator_certification_program.html

After looking up the website, I see that it is just a small part of the state. There is a map on that webpage.
 

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