Montana Department of Agriculture logo

The MDA Analytical Lab at MSU provides reliable and defendable analytical results for feed, fertilizer, and pesticide programs as well as to the public on a fee for service basis.

What We Do

Our mission is to provide reliable and defendable analytical results for the Department of Agriculture's Feed, Fertilizer, Pesticide and Groundwater Protection programs, as well as to the public on a fee-for-service basis.

Operating under an agreement between the Department and the Montana State University's Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) enables the laboratory to reduce operating costs by sharing facilities, personnel, equipment, and operations. This ensures that farmers, ranchers, state and federal agencies, the public, and researchers receive analytical services in a timely and economical manner.

 

We Analyze:

  • Feed
  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticide residues in soil/vegetation/water
  • Water (Livestock)
  • Forage

Please contact the lab directly about unique sample types or about our QA/QC practices.

Please help improve our services by filling out our customer feedback survey. Thank you for your assistance.

  • Feed, Forage
    & Misc
  • Pesticide
     
  • Quality
    Assurance

Sample Submission Guidelines

  • Complete the appropriate Sample Submission Form based on sample type. Refer to Analytical Laboratory Forms & Files are below to download submission forms.
  • Provide all information requested.
  • Ensure each sample submitted is uniquely identified.
  • Sample turn around time is dependent on the laboratory workload and the number of tests requested (typically 7-10 working days).

Sample Size

  • Hay/Straw/Other Feedstuffs: Gallon Ziploc bag ~ 3/4 full
  • Water (Livestock Only): ~ 1 to 2 quarts in a non-glass container
  • Other: Contact the laboratory.

Sampling Procedure

  • Hay/Straw/Other Feedstuffs:
    • DO NOT INCLUDE SOIL IN THE SAMPLE.
    • Cut standing plants to obtain the same portion as would be harvested (or eaten).
    • Field: Walk the field in a "W" pattern & take a sample at each point of the W.
    • Hay bales/stacks: Probe. Do not mix different types or cuttings of forage. Take as many cores as possible, at least twenty per stack, more for larger or dissimilar lots.
  • Other: Contact the laboratory.

Shipping

  • We do not accept samples that have deteriorated or become compromised.
  • Ship Monday - Thursday so that samples arrive on a weekday.
  • DO NOT SHIP ON FRIDAY OR BEFORE A HOLIDAY.
  • Refrigerate water samples prior to shipping.
  • Hay/Straw/Other Feedstuffs:
    • Ship wet sample(s) in a plastic bag & add "blue ice" packs to prevent spoilage.
  • All Liquid Type Samples (i.e. water; liquid feed): Package carefully to prevent leaking during shipment.

Sample Discount

To be eligible for the discount, samples must be submitted at the same time for the same test.

  • 1 Sample: No Discount
  • 2-5 Samples: 15% Discount
  • 6+ Samples: 20% Discount

Helpful Links

Sample Submission Guidelines

  • Approval is required to submit samples to the laboratory. Contact 406-994-3383 to obtain approval before shipping any sample(s) to the laboratory.
  • Complete the Pesticide Sample Submission Form.
  • Provide all information requested.
  • Ensure each sample submitted is uniquely identified.
  • Sample turn around time is dependent on the laboratory workload and the number of tests requested (typically 3-4 weeks ).

Sample Size

  • Vegetation: gallon size Ziploc bag ~ 3/4 full
    • Do not include soil or roots.
  • Soil: ~ 2 to 3 cups in a secure container
    • Note - Out of state customers submitting soil to Montana must complete the following:
  • Water and Miscellaneous Samples: Contact the laboratory.

Shipping

  • Freeze soil and vegetation samples prior to shipping.
  • Refrigerate water samples prior to shipping.
  • We do not accept samples that have deteriorated or become compromised.
  • Ship OVERNIGHT on ice or blue ice in a cooler so samples remain refrigerated during shipment.
  • Ship Monday - Thursday so that samples arrive on a weekday.
  • DO NOT SHIP ON FRIDAY OR BEFORE A HOLIDAY.

Sample Security

  • A sample security report is available for regulatory or litigation situations and costs an additional $25/sample.
  • Notify the laboratory of sample security by checking the box located on the sample submission form.

Pesticide Reference List

  • Not every pesticide and/or metabolite is available for testing in every matrix.
  • This list is not complete, but is meant to provide an idea of our scope of work.
  • Please contact the laboratory for information regarding your pesticide of interest.

Download the full Pesticide Reference List (PDF format).

Analysis Fees

Prices Effective April 2010

Matrix Individual Analyte Multiple Analytes
Water $150.00 $400.00
Soil $200.00 $250.00
Vegetation $250.00 $300.00

Sample Discount

To be eligible for the discount, samples must be submitted at the same time for the same test.

  • 1 Sample: No Discount
  • 2-5 Samples: 15% Discount
  • 6+ Samples: 20% Discount

The laboratory strives to provide the highest quality of results possible through strict QA/QC protocols, proficiency testing, and ISO 17025 accredited methods.

Certification

The laboratory is certified in forage analysis by NFTA for CY 2015.

Proficiency Testing

The laboratory participates in the following proficiency testing programs every year:

  • National Forage Testing Association (NFTA)
  • Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
  • Magruder (Fertilizer)
  • EPA pesticide residues in soil and plant tissue

ISO/IEC 17025

The laboratory is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 for the specific tests listed on A2LA Certificate Number 2694.01: A2LA Accreditation Certificate

  • Lasalocid: AOAC Official Method 2008.01 Lasalocid Sodium in Animal Feeds and Premixes
    • Measurement Uncertainty estimated to be 14% (95% CL, k=2)
  • Monensin: AOAC Official Method 2003.01 Monensin, Narasin, and Salinomycin in Mineral Premixes, Supplements, and Animal Feeds
    • Measurement Uncertainty estimated to be 14% (95% CL, k=2)
  • Nitrogen: AOAC Official Method 993.13 Nitrogen (Total) in Fertilizers
    • Measurement Uncertainty estimated to be 2.2% (95% CL, k=2)
  • Protein: AOAC Official Method 990.03 Protein (Crude) in Animal Feed
    • Measurement Uncertainty estimated to be 2.0% (95% CL, k=2)
  • Decoquinate: AOAC Official Method 2008.08 Decoquinate in Animal Feeds
    • Measurement Uncertainty estimated to be 14% (95% CL, k=2)

For more information, refer to the A2LA website and the National Forage Testing Association website.

Heidi Hickes
Laboratory Bureau Chief

Phone: 406.994.3383
E-mail: HHickes@mt.gov
McCall Hall, Montana State University
PO Box 173620
Bozeman, MT 59717-3620

Analytical Lab Forms & Files

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