Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory (SWFAL)
General Lab Information
General Lab Information
Laboratory User's Guide:
Turn Around Time:
Samples for routine analysis are normally analyzed and reported within 2 to 5 working days after they are received. Forage nitrate results are reported the next day by email and web. All results are available for downloading from the internet with user name and password.
Samples should be submitted through County Extension Offices or directly to the lab. County Extension Offices throughout the state provide sample bags/water bottles, tools and technical assistance for collecting and shipping samples, and result interpretation. Click here for more information.
Results of all tests are available only to the client, unless released by client's written notification.
SWFAL employs state-of-the-art equipment capable of handling a wide range of analytical tasks. The main instruments used in the lab include:
- Two Lachat Flow Injection Auto-analyzers
- Two Spectro ICP Spectrometers
- Two Ankom Fiber Analyzers
- Two LECO TruSpec and one Elementar Carbon and Nitrogen Analyzers
- One automated pH tester, and one auto-titrater.
Accuracy and precision of test results are assured through daily analysis of quality control samples, a three step internal data review process, and participation in external certification and sample exchange programs. All instruments are calibrate with certified standards and maintained according to the specification.
Internal quality control standards listed below are included in each sample run. The permissible ranges are set at two times the standard deviation (mean ± 2 std.) If results are outside the permissible ranges, corrective action will be taken.
- One check sample is included in every 9 samples for soil pH, nitrate, phosphorus and potassium analyses;
- Alfalfa and orchard leaf check standards are part of forage
analyses: protein, ADF and NDF;
- Salinity check samples and blanks are used for soil and water salinity analyses. Anion and cation balance is also used to ensure accuracy.
External Certification or Sample Exchange Programs:
- North American Proficiency Testing Program 1994-2007, soil, water and plant sample analyses quarterly;
- Agricultural Laboratory Proficiency (ALP) Program since 2006, soil, water and plant samples three times per year;
- Manure Analysis Proficiency Program since 2004, three times per year;
- National Forage Testing Association's Forage Analysis Certification Program since 1993, five times per year, certification has been granted every year since 1995.
- Environmental Resource Associates, water samples 6 times per year since 2006.
Hailin Zhang, Director
Kendal Henderson, Manager
Barbara McCray, Financial Assistant and Data Management
Xueqing Fan, Lab Technologist
Joshua Kuzimski, Lab Technologist
Leslie Maitlen, Lab Technologist
Sagar Sawant, Programmer
Brock Nelson, Technician
Melanie Gault, Technician/Research Assistant
Gannon Griffith, Technician
Michael Schmidt, Technician