New Labs Will Improve Testing For Farm Inputs, Products
By Marlee Moore
Alabama farmers will soon benefit from new Pesticide Residue and State Chemical Labs in Auburn. Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries (ADAI) representatives, Gov. Kay Ivey and other elected officials broke ground on the labs Nov. 9.
Alabama Farmers Federation’s Mitt Walker said the new labs will help ADAI compete with similar facilities across the U.S. while providing accurate, consistent results for farmers.
The current location has been in operation for over 50 years and was retrofitted from an animal diagnostics lab.
“More efficient, effective labs with the latest technology will directly impact Alabama farmers,” said Walker, the Federation’s Governmental & Agricultural Programs Department director. “It ensures they’re using the highest quality products while growing safe food, fuel and fiber. We’re grateful for these improvements and are excited to see the labs in action later next year.”
The Pesticide Residue Lab protects public health by reliably analyzing agricultural commodities for pesticide remnants. Samples submitted to the lab include eggs, milk, poultry, beef, fish, vegetables, water, soil and value-added foods. The lab also analyzes unusual samples, those with difficult chemistry or samples with legal implications to protect consumers and maintain Alabama farmers’ competitiveness.
While operated through ADAI, the lab also provides an independent source of data and analytical expertise to expand Environmental Protection Agency testing.
Hosted in the same space, the State Chemical Lab conducts analytical testing related to feed, fertilizer and liming materials distributed in Alabama. Chemical testing can help ensure farmers get their money’s worth when purchasing soil amendments. The lab also helps farmers rule out feed as a potential cause of illness by testing samples for contaminants.