Why Sample Compost / Manure?
Compost and animal manure have long been used as a source of nutrients that are normally supplied in fertilizers. Due to the natural variation in raw materials and in environmental conditions the overall nutrient content in unknown. Farmers need to know the amounts of nutrients supplied to crops in compost or manure to properly adjust commercial fertilizer rates to meet crop needs.
Collecting a Compost / Manure Sample
Manure and compost sample are not to be analysed as soil samples
Composts and manures are a mixture of biomass and/or other components which are not totally uniform in composition. Due to the variation of raw materials within a compost or manure pile, a representative sample made up of many sub samples combined need to be collected for testing purposes.
Sampling procedures used have been recommended in the Australian Standards AS4454 (2012) Composts, soil conditioners and Mulches and are generally used for manure samples due to lack of specific standards for manures and other types of recycled organics. Please see Sampling Instructions.
Getting the Sample to the Lab
Ensure that you have a minimum 500 grams of soil per sample in each bag.
Fill out the appropriate Submission Form making sure to supply the correct customer account number. Fill out ONE Form for a maximum of three samples taken from the same paddock or with the same histories. These samples can be all topsoils, deep soil nitrogen tests or subsoils, or a combination of these test options.
Ensure a test code is clearly indicated using the current Nutrient Advantage Price List.
Double check that the barcode numbers on the completed Submission Form match the barcode numbers on the sample bags (remember to keep one for your records). Remember that you must supply accurate information so that correct interpretation and recommendation of test results can be made.
Place all forms in the clear press seal plastic pocket provided. Place the submission form and soil samples into a Freight satchel and seal and deliver to:
Attn: Sample Preparation
Nutrient Advantage Laboratory
8 South Road, Werribee