Organic manures can be a valuable source of the major nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash and Magnesium). By making allowances for the nutrients supplied from these materials, can result in considerable savings in fertiliser cost.

Organic manures were often applied to the land in the autumn or winter when soil conditions permitted, often without considering the possible pollution hazards. Having your farm waste analysed for nutrients not only ensures that maximum savings are made on any additional fertilisers needed, but ensures that pollution from excess organic wastes is kept under control.

We offer basic organic waste analysis packages as well as the more specialised heavy metal nutrient packages required for sewage sludge application to land, for turnaround time view the full test list

How to take an organic waste sample

The results of any organic waste analysis are only as good as the samples taken. Correct organic waste samples takes time, but following the guidelines detailed here will ensure that this time is not wasted. To take a organic waste sample you will need:

  • A sampling tool (spade or trowel)

  • A bucket or plastic sheet (for mixing the sample)

  • Plastic bottles/containers and a waterproof marker pen

Detailed sampling guidelines

Samples should be taken before application onto the land. Organic waste stores are extremely difficult to sample. It is important that sub samples are taken from all parts of the store to ensure a representative sample is submitted to the lab.

For solid waste materials 500g is usually enough for most analysis. However liquid slurry and waste 'run off' will require approx. two litres of sample.

BOD/COD analysis will require a separate sample (approx. 500mls). This container should be filled so as to expel any air. All samples should be kept cool and sent to the lab as soon as possible. Client name and sample ID should be clearly marked on all containers.

Please remember to send a copy of your registration details and analysis requirements when you submit samples to the laboratory.


  • Collecting samples in glass bottles

  • Posting samples on a Friday. When possible store in a “cool box” or fridge until dispatch to the laboratory

  • Heating the samples. Ammonia Nitrogen can be lost and samples can explode

Find out more about our services

SAC Consulting

Our consultants in 25 offices across Scotland and northern England turn research into advice and advantage for business and public sector alike.

Read more

Contact Consulting

Contact our team and benefit from their experience and expertise.

Read more

Vet & laboratory services

Our leading experts provide support to clients in areas animal disease, diagnosis and surveillance.

Read more