Plant Analysis

Analysis of plant tissues or stalks is an extremely useful tool for growers. It allows monitoring the nutrient adequacy in plants and helps identify nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. It is important that correct sampling techniques are followed as plant nutrient composition varies with age, the portion of the plant sampled, and many other factors. Errors or carelessness in selection, collection, handling, preparing, or shipping plant tissue for analysis can result in unreliable data, which may lead to incorrect interpretations. Please see sampling information sheet.

Plant tissue/stalk analysis includes total elemental analysis,total carbon and/or nitrogen and corn stalk nitrogen test.

Total elemental analysis:

The plant tissue is acid digested with concentrated nitric acid in a microwave digester and dissolved nutrients are measured on the Spectro Ciros CCD ICP-AES. Results include total percent phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium along with the parts per million (on dry weight basis) of boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, zinc, and aluminum. Results interpretations and fertilizer recommendations are not provided with plant tissue analysis.

Total carbon and/or Nitrogen:

The process involves combustion of the plant material using Leco Truspec CN analyzer and Elementar Variomax CNS analyzer. Results are reported as percent total carbon and nitrogen.

Corn stalk nitrate test:

Used as end-of–the-season nitrogen assessment test. Sample collection technique is critical for correct interpretations and recommendations. Samples should be placed in paper (NOT PLASTIC) bags and sent to the lab as soon as possible. Samples should be refrigerated (not frozen) if stored for more than a day before mailing. Results take 3-4 weeks due to longer period required for drying the stalk samples, and will be mailed or faxed as requested.

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