Plant pathology laboratory – General information
The plant pathology laboratory renders a plant disease diagnostic service to the researchers of the Department. Occasional samples from the public will be accepted, depending on the workload. We specialise in the fields of vegetable-, small grain-,and canola diseases.
The tests we perform at our laboratory are aimed at identifying disease-causing organisms of the following kind:
We require whole plants and/or seeds representative of the disease symptoms to perform our tests:
Samples must be accompanied by a submission form.
Prices include VAT and are subject to increases from time to time. Invoices are e-mailed to the accountable person, as indicated by the client on the submission form (download from the forms tab next to lab contact details).
The result form will be faxed or e-mailed to the client as soon as the examination is completed, otherwise the client will be contacted telephonically. The result form, together with the invoice, will also be mailed to the appointed person as indicated on the submission form.
Terms and conditions
The samples must be received in a suitable condition to perform standard plant pathological methods on it.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture and its employees accept no liability for the outcome of this examination.
To have your samples tested, contact the lab for availability at 021 808 5269 or e-mail Lizette.Nowers@westerncape.gov.za
Soil, Water & Plant laboratory
Soil analysis is important for planning the correct fertilizer application. With an effective fertilizer program in place, farmers can have optimum crop production. A soil analysis will also help in identifying nutrient deficiency.
The result of any analytical evaluation can be no better than the sample on which it is performed. The aim of sampling is to collect a portion of material that is small enough in volume to be transported conveniently and handle easily in the laboratory, while still accurately representing the material being sampled.
Avoid contaminating samples through contact with fertiliser or used fertiliser bags and the use of inadequate sampling equipment.
It is advisable to sample 5 samples per hectare, one at each corner and one in the centre. If there are no obvious differences (texture, slope, drainage, colour, and past pest and fertility management), these samples can be pooled together and one representative sample submitted.
Obtain soil from the surface through the primary rooting zone of the crop. The rooting depth will vary with crop type. For most plants, the top 0 – 20 cm is appropriate. For established grasses, sample the top 0 – 10 cm.
For vines and fruit, it is necessary to sample topsoil (0 – 30 cm) and subsoil (30 – 60 cm) separately.
For a full analysis, the laboratory needs 400g soil.
Leave samples – the total sample should consist of at least 40 petioles and/or leaves.
Our turnaround time for soil samples is normally 2 – 4 weeks, depending on the workload of the laboratory.
Please refer to our pricelist for the analyses that we offer.
Please supply us with 500ml of water to be tested. Plastic bottles are preferred because glass bottles may introduce boron to the samples. Rinse out container 3 times with your sample.
Please mark samples properly.
The laboratory at Elsenburg only do chemical analyses and we do not do any microbiological or bacterial tests.
The result report will be e-mailed to the client as soon as the analysis is completed. The invoice will also be mailed to the appointed person as indicated on the submission form.
Terms and conditions
The samples must be received in a suitable condition. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture and its employees accept no liability for the outcome of analyses.
All samples must include a completed application form:
For more information please contact: