Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - publications

Apr. 06, 2020

FFTC and TARI to conduct another PT program for soil and plant labs

FFTC and Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) are joining forces once more to conduct another program on proficiency testing of soil, and plant tissue analysis to continuously enhance the capability of performance of soil and plant laboratories in the Asian Pacific region. A take-off from the past two proficiency testing (PT) programs conducted in 2018 and 2019 which was joined by representatives from more than 40 laboratories in the region, another round of inter-laboratory comparison is being prepared—this time with the addition of a fertilizer analysis component to the program. A maximum of 45 participants representing various laboratories in the Asian Pacific region are being considered for the next round of proficiency tests.

Upgrading lab standards

The PT program which was jointly organized by FFTC and TARI basically aims to upgrade inter-laboratory comparisons, which is an essential requirement for calibration laboratories seeking for certification and accreditation for analytic quality laboratories. Two years ago on September 12-14, an international workshop was organized by FFTC and TARI on “Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Analysis: Testing Methods, QA/QC, Data Interpretation and Application” in Taichung, Taiwan. One of the recommendations of the participants in the workshop was for FFTC to regularly conduct a capacity comparison to help more laboratories in their analysis.

Soil sample collection is one of the major activities of the proficiency testing (PT) program, an inter-laboratory comparison participated in by 47 laboratory representatives from eight countries.

A year later, in 2019, FFTC and TARI continued the proficiency test of soil and plant tissue analysis and increase their fertilizer samples. This time, from the original 25 laboratory representatives who participated in 2018, a total of 47 laboratory representatives from eight countries (Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) participated in the PT program. According to the evaluation results, the capabilities  in the analysis of trace elements of some laboratories in Southeast Asia still need improvement. On November 3-4, 2019, the result of two years comparison (2018 and 2019) of PT programs was presented in the 14th International Conference of East and Southeast Federation of Soil Science Societies (ESAFS).

For this year, the PT program aims to conduct the determination of nutrient contents in soil, plant tissue and fertilizer analysis, offer the participating laboratories the opportunity of comparing their analytical results with those of other laboratories, enhance the capability of soil and plant tissue analysis in the Asian Pacific region.

For this year, the PT program aims to conduct the determination of nutrient contents in soil, plant tissue and fertilizer analysis, offer the participating laboratories the opportunity of comparing their analytical results with those of other laboratories, enhance the capability of soil and plant tissue analysis in the Asian Pacific region and prepare testing items to include pH, total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, available phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and cadmium in samples of two soils, two plant tissue and one fertilizer.

Proficiency testing is a common method of checking laboratory testing performance by means of an inter-laboratory test. It is also an important way of meeting the requirements of the International Standard Organization,  in the area of quality assurance of laboratory results. It involves a group of laboratories performing the same measurements on the same samples and comparing results.

 

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