The Agrochemical Laboratory of the Department of Agrochemistry of the State Plant Protection Service is an accredited laboratory performing physico-chemical testing of soils, organic fertilizers and substrates in accordance with the requirements of standard LVS EN ISO/IEC 17025.

 Quality and methods

The Agrochemical laboratory has been accredited since 2003. The aim of the laboratory is to test submitted samples as fast as possible, while ensuring the quality and objectivity of the results. In order to maintain its competence, the laboratory regularly participates in proficiency tests. Testing is carried out using standards developed or adopted by the Latvian Standard  (LVS) and methods and standards recognized by international organizations (ISO, CEN).

Further information: www.latak.gov.lvAccredited bodies > T-278

Soil testing

To ensure sustainable usage of soil, information on the nutrient content of the soil is needed. A general idea on soil fertility can be provided by agrochemical indicators: reaction (pH), soil organic matter content, mobile phosphorus (P2O5) and potassium (K2O). Sometimes, in order to judge the suitability of a soil for growing particular crops, it is also useful to determine the secondary and micronutrient content of the soil.

The laboratory does not estimate the total element content of the soil, as it does not indicate how much of a given element in the soil can be used by plants. The laboratory assesses only the elements that are usable by plants.

 

  • One sample can be taken from an area not exceeding 6 hectares. Each area constitutes one sampling plot.
  • Each sample is taken by walking along the longest diagonal of the plot and gathering 15-20 smaller samples with a probe or a spade to a depth of 20 cm. The samples are then put into a bucket and mixed thoroughly.
  • Soil sample (approximately 0,5 to 1 kg) is taken from the mixed soil and placed in a clean container (e.g. plastic bucket or cloth bag). If several samples are taken, each sample should be clearly identified.
  • Samples should be taken from homogeneous soils; soils with different granulometric composition (e.g. sand and clay), different organic matter content or different soil types (e.g. sod and podzolic soils) should not be combined in the same sample.
  • The sample must not be taken in a recently limed or fertilized field, it should be taken no earlier than one month after liming or fertilization.
  • The sample should not contain undecomposed plant parts, animal remains, stones or other impurities.

Samples may be submitted to the laboratory in person, by post, by parcel machine (address: "Alfa" shopping centre) or by courier. If a large number of samples (more than 50 samples) are to be submitted, it is advisable to contact the laboratory in advance.

When submitting samples, it is recommended to also submit a completed application form (only the grey boxes on the form need to be filled in). The form in Latvian:

If the testing is carried out to meet the requirements of integrated plant cultivation, it is recommended to indicate the field name, field block number, or cadastral number.

The laboratory accepts samples on weekdays from 9.00 to 16.00. On days before public holidays, the laboratory accepts samples from 9.00 to 15.00.

Testing time depends on the number of indicators to be measured:

  • Testing of the basic indicators (pH, soil organic matter, mobile phosphorus and potassium) is carried out within about 15 working days.
  • Testing for secondary and microelements may take up to 25 working days.

Depending on the workload of the laboratory, testing may take longer. Testing of samples submitted by customers is carried out on a first-come, first-served basis only.

The client can choose to receive test report:

  • by e-mail;
  • in person;
  • in urgent cases, the test results may be reported by telephone.

The test report will contain the information submitted by the customer in the application and the test results. The laboratory does not provide interpretation or advice on the test results.

Soil mineral nitrogen (N/NH4 and N/NO3)

Due to the nature of the mineral nitrogen test method, the laboratory should be contacted in advance for this test.

Samples should be stored in a freezer after collection; samples being delivered to the laboratory immediately after collection should be stored in a cooler box during transport.

 

Izsaukuma zīme

At present, the laboratory does not carry out analysis of fertilizers and substrates.

We apologize for the inconvenience!

Organic fertilizer and substrate testing

In order to make full use of fertilizers, information on the composition of the fertilizer is needed. The most important indicators for fertilization planning are total nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P2O5) and potassium (K2O).

  • 5 to 10 samples are taken from different points, but not from the surface layer. The samples are placed in a bucket, mixed thoroughly and one sample is then taken from the mixed sample. For liquid fertilizers (e.g. liquid manure, digestate, etc.) about 3 liters are needed for testing, for solid fertilizers about 2 kilograms.
  • If liquid fertilizer samples are taken, the entire volume of the fertilizer (the entire storage pit or tank) should be mixed before sampling.
  • If it is planned to spread the fertilizer on the field, the sample should be taken before spreading.

Depending on the weather and air temperature, it may be necessary to store the sample in cold after collection.

Samples may be submitted to the laboratory in person or by courier. If a large number of samples (more than 50 samples) are to be submitted, it is advisable to contact the laboratory in advance.

When submitting samples, it is recommended to also submit a completed application form (only the grey boxes on the form need to be filled in). The form in Latvian:

The laboratory accepts samples on weekdays from 9.00 to 16.00. On days before public holidays, the laboratory accepts samples from 9.00 to 15.00.

Sample testing is carried out within about 15 working days. Depending on the workload of the laboratory, testing may take longer. Analyses of samples submitted by customers are carried out on a first-come, first-served basis only.

The client can choose to receive test report:

  • by e-mail;
  • in person;
  • in urgent cases, the test results may be reported by telephone.

The test report will contain the information submitted by the customer in the application and the test results. The laboratory does not provide interpretation or advice on the test results.