Plant Tissue Testing

Nutrient Advantage analyses plant tissue for a wide range of nutrients to diagnose problems, increase yield, and improve the quality of crops. Grain testing is also available to determine their nutrient content, nutrient removal from the farming system, and the quality of seed before planting.

Why sample plant tissue or grain?

Plant tissue analysis is normally conducted to:

  • Diagnose the reason for poor growth, or to check on accumulation of mineral elements toxic to plants.
  • Monitor current management practices over time and adjust existing fertiliser programs to ensure optimum yields are achieved.

Grain or seed nutrient testing can assist in:

  • Determining your farm specific nutrient removal rates rather than using literature values
  • Identifying the nutritional value of your grain, and the quality/suitability of use for planting


Collecting a plant tissue or grain sample

You should also establish an appropriate sampling program (Sampling Instructions).

Each crop is different so it is critical you send the right plant part collected at the right time and growth stage. You can find more information in the Plant Sampling Guide.  

Most plant tissue samples are subject to rapid deterioration and should be sent in a paper bag to absorb moisture during transport.  It is recommended that samples are sent as soon as possible by Express Courier to the laboratory.  

Grain samples are best placed in plastic ziplock bags, with the air removed.


Getting the sample to the laboratory

Ensure that you have a number of plant tissue leaves or a minimum of 10 grams of oven dry plant tissue material per sample in each paper bag.  A large handful of threshed grain/seeds in a ziplock bag is sufficient.

Complete the relevant sample information on a Plant Tissue Submission Form, within the NA Pro program or the LabSTREAM sampling app.  Grain samples can be submitted 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.

Remember that you must supply accurate information so that correct interpretation and recommendation of test results can be made. We recommend that any paperwork is placed in a clear plastic pocket. Place the submission form and samples into a Freight satchel, seal and deliver to:

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