Analytical Services

AGCSATech offers a range of analytical services. For more information regarding the cost of each test, contact AGCSATech environmental agronomist Bruce Macphee on (03) 9548 8600 or email bruce@agcsa.com.au. AGCSATech's range of analytical services include:

Soil Nutrient Analysis

The soil nutrient analysis test package includes:

Standard Package:

  • pH water and calcium chloride
  • EC
  • Extractable cations (calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium)
  • Available Phosphorus (Olsen)

Complete Package:

  • pH water and calcium chloride
  • EC
  • Extractable cations (calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium)
  • Available Phosphorus (Olsen)
  • Trace elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn)

Please Note: AGCSATech requires a minimum of 500 grams per sample. Sample bags are available from the AGCSA by calling (03) 9548 8600 or emailing bruce@agcsa.com.au


Soil Physical Analysis

When sampling stockpiles for construction soils, topdressing soils and bunker sands it is important that a representative sample is taken. At least 20 - 25 sub-samples should be taken from around the stockpile and at different levels, with the samples being taken from within the stockpile (do not sample the surface soil). Avoid any obvious differences in colour and texture and do not sample at the base of the stockpile. There are varying packages available for soil physical analysis and these include:

Package 1: USGA Suitability Analysis

  • Particle size distribution
  • Compaction and Hydraulic Conductivity
  • Volumetric water (at 30cm tension)
  • Aeration Porosity (at 30cm tension)
  • Dry Bulk Density
  • Colour

Package 2: Sand Suitability Analysis

  • Particle size distribution
  • Compaction and Hydraulic Conductivity
  • Dry Bulk Density
  • Colour

Package 3: Wet Sieve Analysis

  • Particle size distribution (sand or gravel)

Package 4: Moisture Release Curve

Package 5: Slaking and Dispersion

  • Aggregate stability

Package 6: Bunker Sand Suitability

  • Particle size distribution
  • Compaction and Hydraulic Conductivity
  • Particle shape
  • Angle of repose
  • Crusting strength
  • Ball plugging
  • Colour

Package 7: Sand/Gravel Compatibility

  • Particle size distribution of sand and gravel
  • Calculation of bridging, permeability and uniformity factors

Package 8: Loss on Ignition

  • Organic matter % by weight

Please Note: AGCSATech requires a minimum of 1kg per sample to perform these tests, however Package 6 (Bunker Sand Suitability) requires a minimum of 2kg per sample.


Plant Tissue Analysis

The plant tissue analysis package includes, N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Na, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn.  When sampling plant tissue it is possible to take clippings from the mower catcher providing that the sample is not contaminated with soil or other contaminants. Plant tissue samples can also be taken by using scissors to remove the top 1/3 of the leaf. Using this method, sub-samples must be taken from at least 20 locations over the area and bulked together for analysis. A minimum of 200 grams wet weight of plant material is required.

It is important to take a representative sample and therefore any locations that are distinctly different (e.g. grass type, colour, density, moisture etc.) should be avoided or sampled separately. Also avoid sampling any areas stressed by disease, drought, pests, waterlogging or mechanical damage unless the majority of the area is affected or the sample is being taken as part of a diagnostic program.

Do not sample within four weeks of fertilising or chemical spraying or at least delay sampling until the end of the fertiliser cycle. Use clean equipment when sampling and scissors should be stainless steel. Place the samples in labelled plastic bags and send them to AGCSATech that day by courier or overnight Express Post pack. If the samples have to be stored keep them refrigerated but do not freeze.

Please Note: AGCSATech requires a minimum of 1 full sample bag of plant tissue. Sample bags are available from the AGCSA by calling (03) 9548 8600 or emailing bruce@agcsa.com.au


Disease Diagnosis

Disease diagnosis will be undertaken by microscopic examination of the roots, leaves and stems. Disease samples should consist of a single core sample that is at least 5cm in diameter and 7.5 - 10cm deep. The sample should be taken from the margin of the disease area, including both infected and healthy turf. Each sample must be wrapped in damp newspaper and placed in a zip lock plastic bag. Label the bag.

When submitting a disease sample provide written information about the visual turf symptoms (including colour, size and shape of lesions), weather conditions prior to the disease outbreak, recent fertiliser and fungicide applications and turfgrass species affected. Place the samples in labelled plastic bags and send them to the laboratory that day by courier or overnight post pack. If the samples have to be stored keep them refrigerated but do not freeze.

Please Note: Disease samples should consist of a single core sample that is at least 5cm in diameter and 7.5cm-10cm deep.


Nematode Diagnosis

Nematode diagnosis provides species identification, numbers of each species per 200ml of soil and root damage assessment. When sampling for nematode diagnosis there are two approaches that can be taken;

  • Sample specific problem areas (e.g. area is discoloured, lacks turf density etc.). When sampling specific problem areas, take a 5cm diameter core sample to a depth of 10cm.
  • Sample the entire turf area. For general sampling of turf areas (e.g. green) take 10 - 15 core samples that are about 2 - 3cm in diameter, to a depth of 7 - 10cm. Combine the samples for submission. It is important that the core samples are sufficiently large enough so that the roots can be examined.

When submitting a nematode sample, provide written information about the visual turf symptoms (including colour, size and shape of affected area), weather conditions prior to the symptoms occurring, recent fertiliser and pesticide applications and turfgrass species affected.Place the samples in labelled plastic bags and send them to the laboratory that day by courier or overnight post pack. If the samples have to be stored keep them refrigerated but do not freeze.

Please Note: AGCSATech requires a minimum of 500 grams per sample to conduct this test.


Water Analysis

The following water analysis packages are available;

Package 1:

  • pH, electrical conductivity, salinity

Package 2:

  • pH, electrical conductivity, salinity, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, manganese, SAR, hardness, alkalinity, carbonate and bicarbonate.

Package 3:

  • pH, electrical conductivity, salinity, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, manganese, SAR, hardness, alkalinity, carbonate, bicarbonate, boron, chloride, sulphate, potassium, total phosphate, total nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrate and nitrite.

When taking a water sample it is important that a clean, 1 litre plastic (PET) container (bottles that have contained soft drinks must be thoroughly cleaned before reuse) is used with a tight fitting lid. The water samples are to be taken as follows:

  • Prior to taking the sample, thoroughly rinse out the container with the water source to be sampled.
  • Water from dams, rivers and streams need to be taken in deep water as far from the bank as possible and taken from a depth of at least 10cm.
  • When taking water from bores the pump must be run for at least 30 - 60 minutes to ensure that the sample is representative of the groundwater and not what has been sitting stagnant in the bore.
  • From piped water supplies, open the tap or off-take point and allow it to run for several minutes so that the pipework is flushed out prior to taking the sample.
  • Fill the bottle and allow for a 3 - 5cm air gap.
  • Label the sample and provide written information with the sample on the date taken, source of the water and proposed use.
  • Place the sample in a box and pad it with newspaper or other appropriate packaging.
  • Send the samples by courier or overnight express post. If the samples have to be stored keep them refrigerated but do not freeze.

Please Note: AGCSATech requires a minimum of 600ml per sample to conduct these tests.

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