Sample collection is critical for plant analysis as plant nutrient composition varies with age, the portion of the plant sampled, and many other factors. Mistakes or carelessness in selecting, collecting, handling, preparing, or shipping plant tissue for analysis can result in unreliable data, which may lead to incorrect interpretations and recommendations. Standards, against which the sample is evaluated, have been selected to represent the plant part and time of sampling that best define the relationship between nutrient composition and plant growth. Deviation from the prescribed protocol severely limits this interpretations capability. It is, therefore, critical to follow proper tissue sample preparation procedures.
1) Dust off plant material to remove soil DO NOT WASH.
2) Remove roots or other foreign material
3) Allow samples to air dry at least one day, but not more than 2 days before placing in the mailing envelope for immediate mailing.
4) Place sample in a large paper envelope. Do not place plant sample in plastic or polyethylene bags. Mail or deliver this information sheet and plant sample together to one of our four Dairyland Locations.
More detailed sampling instruction can be found at plant tissue sampling procedures by Kelling, Combs and Peters of the University of Wisconsin.