Guide to laboratory establishment for plant nutrient analysis


Guide to laboratory
establishment for plant
nutrient analysis

M.R. Motsara
New Delhi, India


R.N. Roy
Food and Agriculture Organization
Rome, Italy

Download full pdf - 791 Kb

Rome, 2008

Table of contents

Part I  - 452 kb

    List of acronyms, abbreviations and chemical symbols

    1. Introduction

    2. The basics of an analytical laboratory
        Laboratory safety measures
        Laboratory quality assurance/control
        Standard operating procedure
        Error, precision, accuracy and detection limit
        Quality control of analytical procedures
        Preparation and standardization of reagent solutions

    3. Soil analysis
        Available nutrient content of soils
        Soil sampling
        Dispatch of soil samples to the laboratory
        Preparation of soil samples for analysis
        Analytical methods

    4. Plant analysis
        Sample collection and preparation for analysis
        Analytical methods

Part II  - 437 Kb

    5. Water analysis
        Important characteristics of irrigation water
        Collection of water samples
        Analytical methods

    6. Mineral and organic fertilizer analysis
        Sample collection and preparation
        Analytical methods

    7. Biofertilizer assay and production
        Types of microscopes and their use in the laboratory
        Examination of microbes by staining techniques
        Culture media
        Isolation and identification of important microbes
        Inoculation of culture medium
        Measurement of microbial growth
        Quality control of biofertilizers
        Commercial production of biofertilizers
        References and further reading


        1. Floor plan of a soil, plant, water and fertilizer analysis laboratory
        2. Floor plan of a biofertilizer laboratory and production unit
        3. Items required for a soil, plant and water analysis laboratory
        4. Items required for a fertilizer testing laboratory
        5. Items required for a microbiological laboratory
        6. Summary of plant nutrient estimation methods
        7. Automation of analytical procedures
        8. Examples of laboratory registers
        9. Grades of chemicals and glassware
        10. Equivalent and molecular weights of compounds
        11. Soil sample information sheet
        12. Colour change of solutions owing to pH change
        13. Glossary of biofertilizer terms
        14. Units and conversion factors


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention or omission of specific companies, their products or brand names does not imply any endorsement or judgement by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

ISBN 978-92-5-105981-4

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to the:

Chief, Electronic Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Communication Division - FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to: [email protected]

© FAO 2008