About Us

arl. is Aotearoa New Zealand's leading soil, plant, feed, and fertiliser analytical laboratory

We pride ourselves on being a science-driven organisation that offers complete analytical services of the highest quality and are passionate about using our decades of experience to help you achieve the best outcomes for your soil, crops, and animals.

Our history

ARL started as a public-private partnership. Founded in June of 1981 by a couple of
entrepreneurs in Hawke’s Bay, the laboratory was for a period run in partnership with a
Crown Research Institute, AgResearch.

Since our inception, ARL has been known for its reliability, efficacy, and drive to give our clients the best. We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings in the 1980s, to supporting the Hawke’s Bay growers with fruit and wine testing in the late 1990s and eventually in the 2000s,  becoming a full-fledged agricultural and horticulture-focused laboratory supporting all of NZ – specialising in soil, plant, feed and fertiliser testing.

Through the years, we’ve invested in our technology, people, capability, automation and productivity – ensuring our customers get quality reports in a timely manner at the lowest cost. Our modern laboratory features state-of-the-art instrumentation and adopts scientifically verified analyses, improved over decades of experience to ensure the greatest quality, accuracy and reliability for our clients.

We are committed to innovation, creative problem-solving, and customer satisfaction, and are proud to have been:

  • The first lab in New Zealand to test for herbicides and pesticides,
  • The first lab to provide a soil testing kit,
  • The first lab to provide a soil map of the country so that our customers could identify the type of soil they were on,
  • The only lab to domestically provide plant sap testing in NZ
  • Solely focussed on agriculture and horticulture in NZ
Why Test

ARL is a part of the Ravensdown group and proudly provides lab-based testing services for all Ravensdown’s farmers, growers, agri-managers, agronomists and science research projects. While we are part of the Ravensdown group, we maintain an arms-length relationship and are a separate stand-alone company to ensure independence.

Why test soil, plant, feed, and fertiliser?

Today, ARL offers an extensive range of soil, plant, and feed quality. These testing services provide information essential to measuring and managing the health and productivity of your soil, crops, and animals.

Soil testing establishes the nutrient status (the reservoir) of the soil. It is the first step in designing a fertiliser program. It does not, however, indicate whether plants grown in the soil are capturing all of the nutrients available or if the nutrients they need are in the correct proportions.

Plant analysis indicates whether the plant has the right amount and balance of nutrients for optimal production. These analyses are helpful tools for assessing trace element status for animal health, pastoral herbage, and in arable and horticultural crops.

Soil testing and plant analysis are best used in conjunction with each other to give you the best picture of your block and crop. They empower you by giving you the data you need to make informed decisions.

Why test with ARL?


Since our inception and early days, ARL has been known for its reliability, efficacy, and drive to give our clients the best.

  • We are an IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand) accredited laboratory (ISO 17025) and a member of the New Zealand Association of Consulting Laboratories and ASPAC (Australasian Soil and Plant Analytical Council).
  • Our work is constantly monitored to ensure we continuously achieve the highest standards.
  • We take pride in our modern laboratory, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and well-qualified staff.
  • We have over two decades of soil, plant, feed, and fertiliser expertise.
  • We’re proud to be able to offer a multitude of tests for you to choose from to help you determine what’s right for your unique situation.
  • We’ll provide accurate information allowing you to make the right decision for your farm and stock needs.
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