Iowa State University Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory (SPAL)

Plant Analysis Services


Analysis of plant tissues or stalks is an extremely useful tool for growers. It allows monitoring the nutrient adequacy in plants and helps identify nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. It is important that correct sampling techniques are followed as plant nutrient composition varies with age, the portion of the plant sampled, and many other factors. Errors or carelessness in selection, collection, handling, preparing, or shipping plant tissue for analysis can result in unreliable data, which may lead to incorrect interpretations. Please see sampling information sheet.

Plant tissue/stalk analysis includes total elemental analysis,total carbon and/or nitrogen and corn stalk nitrogen test.

The plant tissue is acid digested with concentrated nitric acid in a microwave digester and dissolved nutrients are measured on the Spectro Ciros CCD ICP-AES. Results include total percent phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium along with the parts per million (on dry weight basis) of boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, zinc, and aluminum. Results interpretations and fertilizer recommendations are not provided with plant tissue analysis.

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