University of KentuckyCollege of Agriculture
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Scenes of Kentucky Agriculture

Feed and Fertilizer Laboratory

The Feed and Fertilizer Laboratory in the Division primarily analyzes regulatory samples. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture research programs are also supported by the laboratory. Consumer protection for the citizens of Kentucky is provided by analyzing feed and fertilizer products sold in businesses across the state.

The regulatory feed and fertilizer samples obtained by the inspection staff across Kentucky are received by the laboratory and the following analyses can be performed:

  • Nitrogen in fertilizer by thermal analysis (combustion) instrumentation
  • Crude Protein in feed
  • Available phosphate in fertilizer
  • Soluble potash in fertilizer (Auto-titrator Method)
  • Slow release NPK in fertilizer
  • S (sulfate sulfur) in fertilizer
  • Moisture, ash, urea, net weight, and NPN for feeds
  • Selected trace minerals in feeds and fertilizer
  • Crude Fiber and fat in feeds
  • Vitamin A and lysine in feeds
  • Mycotoxins, selected drugs, and antibiotics in feeds
  • Fluoride
  • Chloride
  • Salt in feeds
  • Microscopy determination of feeds
  • Fertilizer SGN - Size Guide Number
  • Selected heavy metals in fertilizer
  • Invert sugar in feeds

Sample preparation facilities are equipped to handle a variety of sample materials. The laboratory prepares feeds, fertilizers, plant materials, grains and nutrient blocks and sub-samples materials. Grinding, mixing and blending of these materials is performed using several different mills and splitters. Storage facilities are available for retention of the laboratory regulatory feed and fertilizer samples.

The laboratory uses AOAC methods where appropriate. The laboratory participates in several check sample programs and is active in feed and fertilizer associations and other scientific organizations.

In addition to the regulatory function, the laboratory supports the soil testing program by analyzing about 35,000 soil samples annually. Water, greenhouse media, animal waste, and mine spoils are also analyzed. Routine nutrient analyses and trace element determinations are performed for producers in Kentucky and for researchers at the University of Kentucky. At the Princeton location, the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center soil laboratory performs soil analysis for producers in Western Kentucky. (See Reg. Services Soil Testing information on this web site.)