The publication can be downloaded from Plant Analysis Reference Procedures for the Southern Region of the United States.
Plant analysis has evolved into one of the important tools in crop production. It is a process in which
plant samples are collected from a plant at a specific time during the growing season and analyzed in a
laboratory for various essential nutrients. Nutrients of primary interest are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P),
potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), iron (Fe),
boron (B), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). The plant analysis process also includes an evaluation of the analytical
data to determine whether an element is low, sufficient, or high and finally the formulation of a
Each step in the plant analysis process is equally important. In the laboratory phase many different
procedures are involved which include decontamination, drying, grinding, weighing, ashing, and analysis for
11 to 12 essential nutrients. Consequently, performing a plant analysis involves the use of a variety of
Several laboratories in the Southern Region of the United States offer plant analysis services to
researchers and growers. This bulletin contains reference procedures commonly used by laboratories in the
region. Procedures were selected on the basis of their accuracy and precision as well as their popularity and
acceptance by workers in the area of plant analysis. These procedures also provide a reference for laboratories
to exchange samples to evaluate current plant analysis procedures or to implement new ones.
C. Owen Plank
Appreciation is expressed to all the Southern Extension and Research Activities members who
contributed to this bulletin and to each experiment station representative who submitted procedures.
Appreciation is also expressed to Dr. George Kriz, Administrative Advisor, for his leadership and sincere
support of this work group.
C. O. Plank, Editor
C. R. Campbell
F. R. Cox
V. W. Case
E. A. Hanlon
C. C. Mitchell
H. J. Savoy, Jr.
State agricultural experiment stations and extension services are equal opportunity/affirmative action agencies.