This Handbook is to assist in interpreting plant analyses for samples submitted to the University of Georgia Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories. The sampling procedures given and interpretative data are those recommended for crops grown in Georgia and under Georgia soil and climatic conditions.

As with any technique, it is important that sampling procedures be specifically followed in order to use the sufficiency data given in the tables. If the plant tissue analyzed is not specified, the sufficiency ranges given do not apply. Since plants are heterogeneous in their nutrient makeup, one set of interpretative values will not fit all plant tissues. Equally important is the time of sampling, for the nutrient element concentration in any plant part will change with time.

An effort has been made to make the interpretations as useful as possible. It is helpful when submitting a plant tissue sample for analysis to have recent soil test results available, or if not, to submit a soil sample along with the tissue sample. The questionnaire should be completed in its entirety as it serves as the only means of communication between the farmer or grower collecting the sample and the one who is to interpret the analysis.

Follow these steps when collecting and submitting plant tissue samples to the Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory:

  1. Obtain a Plant Analysis Mailing Kit from the local county extension office or the Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory.
  2. Study the instructions given in the mailing kit before proceeding.
  3. Following the sampling instructions, collect the prescribed plant part and the required amount of sample.
  4. Air dry the collected tissue if necessary and then place it in the large mailing envelope.
  5. Complete the questionnaire in its entirety and place in the smaller mailing envelope.
  6. If recent soil test data is not available, collect a soil sample and place in separate container (preferably in the bag provided by the Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory or its equivalent). Make note of submitted soil sample on the Plant Submission Form.
  7. Mail plant analysis kit and soil sample to: Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory, 2400 College Station Road, Athens, Georgia 30602-9105.