All fresh plant tissue should be carefully examined to determine physical condition, type of material, extent of contamination, and freedom from disease.
When whole plants are received, remove the roots, stems and foreign material if included in the sample.
Remove soil particles from plant tissue by gentle brushing. Washing under cold water tap is sometimes necessary to remove water soluble contamination. Remove excess water before drying.
Plant material that is decayed or moldy should be discarded.
Make note of the physical condition of the sample and what preparation steps were taken if other than normal.
Assign laboratory number to sample bag, data sheet, and sample submission form. The first digit of the lab number is 1 for plant. The second two digits are the month, the last four digits are the sample number for the year.
Check analyses desired on the data sheet.
Place paper sample bag (do not use waxed or plastic bags) in oven set at 70-80oC. Drying may require 12 to 24 hours depending on the original condition of sample.
To facilitate rapid drying, loosen and separate plant parts in sample bag.
Samples should be dried to a crisp and brittle state and ground immediately.
Assign laboratory number to data sheet and sample submission form.
Use sharpie to write lab number on sample bag and oven dried paper bag.
The first digit of the lab number is 2 for feed, the next two digits are the month, the last four digits are the sample number for the year.
Check analyses desired on the data sheet. Place an "A" next to the sample number if the sample is to be analyzed "as-is".