Plant analysis indicates whether your plants have the right amount and balance of nutrients.
We have a range of plant analysis options that will provide information essential to measuring and managing the health and productivity of your pasture, crops and animals.
Why plant test?
As well as indicating whether your plants have the right amount and balance of nutrients for optimal production, plant testing is also a useful tool for:
- Providing a guide on the critical nutrient concentrations required for maximum production and optimal crop quality for individual crop types at particular stages of growth
- Determine trace element nutritional status and fertiliser requirements of annual and perennial crops
- Determining the mineral concentrations of animal feed, particularly herbage, helping ensure maximum animal production
- Diagnosis of plant health problems, including trace element deficiencies and nutrient toxicities
- Monitoring the effectiveness of your fertiliser programme
With all testing services, we provide the most current crop by crop interpretative information available to turn your test results into information that can be readily used in farm management decisions.
Find out more about how plant testing can help you
How do I sample for plant analysis?
Because the critical nutrient concentrations for different crop types are specific to parts of the plant and stage of growth, it is important to adhere to the plant sampling guide. Failure to do so may lead to misleading results and advice.
Ensure your hands are clean or if using shears or scissors ensure these are also clean, as rust or soil can contaminate samples. Recent applications of fertiliser, foliar feeds and certain pesticides may affect the results.
When sampling take plant tissue from a representative number of different sampling sites or plants – more than 15 is desirable.
For pasture samples walk along your chosen transects (lines) taking a handful of pasture every 10-20 metres. Take the sample at animal grazing height.
Each sample should be made up of 15 or more handfuls of pasture. Provide enough sample by filling the sample bag provided (equivalent to 2 litres for a mixed pasture or ½ litre for a clover only sample).
Pasture samples are normally taken during periods of active growth (such as during spring or autumn flush).
For arable and horticultural crops refer to our plant sampling guide. In the case of fruit trees and vines it is recommended to mark the trees or vines that you have sampled from, so that you can return to these same trees for future sampling.
Avoid inclusion of soil in plant samples where possible because contamination from soil can compromise test results.
Squeeze the air out of the sample bag before sealing it tightly.
Clearly identify the sample and the block the sample came from on the bag form.
Fill in the submission form and put the samples plus the submission form in the pre-paid courier bag and send them to ARL immediately or store in a refrigerator (any delay exposes the sample to excess heat and moisture and can affect the analysis).
What if I’m trying to diagnose a plant health problem?
If testing because a plant or crop is poorly performing, it is a good idea to take two representative samples, one from each of the good and poor performing areas, and send for analysis.
Plant Testing Suites
Comprehensive suite of tests that provide a holistic assessment of your sample.
Basic Plant Analysis
Standard Pasture Analysis
Clover / Brassica / Legume Analysis
Comprehensive Pasture Analysis
Plant Petiole Analysis
Potato Petiole Analysis
Additional tests that can be added to a composite analysis for more detailed insights.
Price: Price on Application
Heavy Metals in Plants
Free Standing Analysis
Individual tests available for specific analysis needs.