Compost Manure Testing

Nutrient Advantage analyses compost or manure to determine the amounts of nutrients they supply and allow farmers to adjust commercial fertiliser rates to meet crop needs.

Why sample compost / manure?

Compost and animal manure have long been used as a source of nutrients. However, their nutrient content varies considerably because of the natural variation in raw materials and in environmental conditions. Farmers need to know the amounts of nutrients supplied in compost or manure to properly adjust commercial fertiliser rates to meet crop needs.


Collecting a compost / manure sample

Composts and manures are not uniform in composition due to the variation of raw materials within a pile. You need to combine many sub-samples to create a representative sample for testing purposes.

Sampling procedures have been recommended in the Australian Standards AS4454 (2012) Composts, soil conditioners and mulches. These are also used for manure samples due to lack of specific standards for manures and other types of recycled organics. Please see Sampling Instructions

Moist composts or manure samples are subject to rapid deterioration.  It is recommended that samples are sent as soon as possible by Express Courier to the laboratory.


Getting the sample to the laboratory

Ensure that you have a minimum 100 grams of sample in each bag.

Complete the relevant sample information on a Compost & Manure Submission Form, within the NA Pro program (under “plant tissue”) or the LabSTREAM sampling app (under “plant tissue”).  Check that the barcode number on the sample bag matches the recorded information, the customer number is correct, and a test code from the current Nutrient Advantage Price List or a provided customised test code is recorded.

It is important to seal the sample bag tightly to avoid leakage or smell during transport.  Double bagging is often necessary.  We recommend that any paperwork is placed in a clear plastic pocket.  Place the submission form and samples into a freight satchel, and deliver by express courier service to:

Attn: Sample Preparation
Nutrient Advantage Laboratory
8 South Road, 
Werribee, Victoria 3030