Approved by state agencies, our methods meet regulatory needs
Laboratory Certification Programs
Agricultural laboratory certification is organized through two laboratory proficiency programs:
Each of these programs send a series of homogenized, dried and ground standardized soil samples to participating laboratories. Participating laboratories then measure the samples and report their results back to the testing programs. Individual lab and aggregate results are then compiled and published. These results form the basis of state-level certification in most states. Some individual states review the results and determine certification based on how well an individual laboratory matches the typical (median) measurement of all the participating labs. In other states, only participation in one or both of the National testing programs is required for state-level certification. Solum began participating in both the ALP and NAPT during the 2011 season and has met all of their standards in each round of testing.
Solum has applied for and received additional recognition from the following states:
In certain cases, this recognition goes beyond the requirements of state legislature. For instance, in Iowa, a laboratory must simply participate in the NAPT program for its results to meet all regulatory requirements for manure management plans.
Testing for Wisconsin will not meet Wisconsin nutrient management plan.
What about the field moist?
Solum has worked closely with state agronomy and regulatory authorities in the introduction of its new tests. The introduction of its field moist process was discussed extensively with the North Central Extension Research Activities 13 state regional committee (NCERA-13) over the course of a series of meetings. This had led to the reintroduction of the process in the Recommended Chemical Soil Test Procedures Manual. Indeed, the advantages of keeping soils in their field moist state are highlighted extensively in chapter 1 – which introduces the recommended processes for preparing soil samples for further analysis.
The members of the NCERA-13 regional committee, state fertility scientists, and state certification coordinators of Iowa (Travis Knight) and Minnesota (Jerry Floren) had a meeting in the winter of 2013 and determined that the current certification based on dried soil samples can be reasonably and safely extended to moist testing. The logic for this decision was that the purpose of the laboratory testing program is to certify the proficiency of laboratory processes overall, which include many steps. Passing the tests is a strong indication that the staff of each lab is well trained and that general principles of quality control are present and can be followed. For this reason, laboratories are not required to be certified in all dried-sample tests they perform. Certification programs are based on the analysis of previously dried and ground soils so the procedure for preparing soils is currently not part of the process. In the summer of 2013, the ALP program began qualifying a system for validating field moist tests by sending out field moist samples, so this may one day change.
Solum’s No-Wait Nitrate™ tool uses optical sensing technology that has been used in oceanography and water treatment applications for years. The technology is also being used by the agriculture clean water alliance in Iowa to monitor nitrogen levels in rivers. Solum’s innovations and patents cover the use of this system for measuring nitrate in murky water and soil. The product has been certified by the FCC, for compliance, and the Underwriters Lab, for safety. The product has been validated through testing collaborations with UC-Davis, the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment (NLAE), Purdue University, and Dr. Robert Miller, the technical directory of ALP and a faculty member at Colorado State University. For more information, you can read the report written by Dr. Robert Miller.