Preparation of Plant Samples for Analysis
- 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".