Vitality Newsletter – Autumn 2023

As much of the warm weather fades and Autumn begins to bite, there’s a drop in horticultural crops across southern Australia and the start of the broadacre cropping season.

Forecasts are promising, as good subsoil moisture levels persist in some areas, and commodity prices are pretty good. Best of all, common input prices (other than fuel) have eased since the peak in 2022.

However, margins remain tight for most growers.

By gathering accurate and targeted science-based data on your growing environment, you can not only cut your input costs, but you’ll boost yields, crop quality, and your bottom line.

You can find details of all the accredited soil, plant, and water tests in our updated Product & Price List – please get in touch for a copy.


What’s inside this edition?

  • AgVita Analytical: proudly 100% Australian owned
  • URGENT UPDATE: New Biosecurity Tasmania requirements
  • What is Precision Ag, and why has it become so popular?
  • Coming Soon: Our NEW lab information management system
  • How to get the most from your NU-test report
  • Introducing our new TC/TN Combustion Analyser


AgVita Analytical: proudly 100% Australian owned

It’s no surprise that there are many soil and plant laboratories in Australia offering a variety of analytical tests for the ag industry.

But did you know that the majority are corporatised or linked to fertiliser manufacturers?

Or that there’s an increasing trend of overseas takeovers and mergers occurring?

Now, here’s the good news.

While we celebrate “Australian Made Week” (15–21 May), there’s no better time to highlight AgVita Analytical as a truly “home-grown” Aussie company, right from when we first opened our doors in the 1990s.

Here at AgVita, we always have been – and always will be – proudly independent and 100% Australian-owned.

When you support us, you support Australia.


URGENT UPDATE: New Biosecurity Tasmania requirements

Biosecurity Tasmania has made some unexpected changes to the requirements for the Packing & Transport of samples.

Please follow these new requirements so your samples arrive safely!

ALL samples sent to us now must be:

(a) Double bagged using zip-lock bags
       The double-bagged sample(s) must then be placed in a satchel or box.

(b) The satchel or box must be clearly labelled with the following details:
       (i) Name and address of the sender (client)
       (ii) Clearly state “Imported under Import Requirement 37 – Sample for Laboratory Analysis”
       (iii) Description of contents (e.g. soil sample for analysis)
       (iv) Name and telephone number of a contact person at the testing laboratory

Since we’re a “Category 6 Biosecurity Holding Facility / Analytical and Research Laboratory” and operate within Tasmanian Government Biosecurity Regulations 2022, we MUST comply. Failure to do so will result in your sample(s) being destroyed or returned to the sender.

These regulations operate to protect our fragile farming systems in Tasmania and around the country, and also help mitigate the risk of the introduction of pests and disease.

So, let’s work together to protect our Australian Agriculture Industry.


What is Precision Ag, and why has it become so popular?

Precision agriculture is becoming an increasingly popular approach in Australian agronomy for very good reason.

By using precision ag techniques, such as soil and plant tissue analysis, you can accurately determine the nutrient requirements of your crops, resulting in improved yields and crop quality.

Even more importantly, it enables precision irrigation and variable rate fertilisation, which promotes sustainable farming practices by helping reduce waste and conserve resources.

Precision ag relies on data-driven decision-making, using accurate and reliable data from monitoring tools to inform crop management decisions. And this is where our AgVita team really shines – offering you flexibility in test components, reporting, turn-around times, and pricing.

So, if you’re frustrated by the slow delivery of results from other suppliers, get in touch to discuss what we can offer.


Coming Soon: Our NEW lab information management system

In our commitment to providing you with the best lab services possible, we’re building a new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). A test version will be trialled in the coming months.

Thanks to this LIMS, we’ll be able to offer more flexibility and cut down sample testing times – so you’ll get your results even faster!

As part of this new system, we’re modifying our paper sample submission form – these will mimic the online sample login process more closely. New books will be available early in the new financial year on request, and users will note a slight change in the format.

Naturally, the system is only as good as the information we put in. So always provide as much detail on your sample forms so we can provide a complete report.


How to get the most from your NU-test report

When you receive a NU-test report, your sample analysis will be shown against the guidelines for your specific crop (and variety in some cases) at its nominated growth stage.

Our extensive library of nutrient guidelines has now grown to well over 200 crops and varieties. 

Of course, to include this valuable information on your report, we need you to indicate (via our sample submission form) the sample’s crop/variety and growth stage when submitting it for NU-test analysis.

Every two years, we review our guidelines and make updates to reflect current varieties and management practices. This means we’re continually adding new crops or additional growth stage data to our library, so you have access to the largest range of data to help manage your crop.

Look out for our latest guideline updates this June.


Introducing our new TC/TN Combustion Analyser

We’ve recently doubled our capacity to run total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN) tests in a variety of sample types thanks to our second new Elementar TC/TN Analyser.

It’s put to use every day for routine TN% analysis in plants for our Plant Response dry tissue analysis suite, precise TOC% measurements in soil for both Soil Response and ExpressSoil, and even in our precision ag offerings.

What does this state-of-the-art combustion analyser mean for your samples?

  1. High accuracy and precision: always be sure your TC and TN results are spot on
  2. Wide sample compatibility: since it accommodates a wide range of soil types and plant material, it can be used for a variety of applications – from research and precision ag to routine agronomy
  3. Fast analysis time: results are typically produced in just minutes, making it ideal for the high-throughput agricultural applications we offer
  4. Simple to use: its ease of operation means there is less likelihood of human errors or inaccuracies in your results