Lab Analysis for Trace (Heavy) Metals in Soil

— Written By and last updated by

Deanna Osmond
Professor of Crop & Soil Sciences

6/9/2019 – Growers are confronted by a number of issues concerning hemp production. One is the possible accumulation of trace metals (such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and others) into the above-ground plant tissue. Trace metals sometimes referred to as “heavy metals”, are present in all soils found in North Carolina. Currently, there is no readily available soil test database that can predict metal uptake by hemp. However, elemental chemical analysis of the soil can provide the current level of these metals in fields selected for hemp production. The Crop and Soil Sciences Department at NC State University can determine the elemental content of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in soil for a fee of $100 per soil sample. Mercury (Hg) can be provided, as well, for an additional fee of $15.

For further information and the sample submittal instructions and form, visit the EATS lab at NC State University.