How to take a Compost or Manure Sample

Compost Analysis


Compost quality is the key to seeing great results and poorly made compost can cause more harm than good. Ensure you manage the C:N ratio, moisture and temperature in your compost carefully. If natural compost processes are not working properly there may be a problem with E.coli and Salmonella pathogen in the compost which can be a very big issue for edible horticultural crops. We offer a test for these so you can be sure that your compost is pathogen free before application. We also offer compost liquid extract analysis to look at the pH, EC and levels of available nutrients.

Manure Analysis

Manure is a good choice for adding carbon and nutrients (P and K especially) to sandy and low carbon/compacted soils. However, adding manure to soils that are not suited to the mineral content of the manure can cause serious problems with soil fertility and future crop production. The main problems are excess sodium, potassium and phosphorous in the manure which build up in the soil locking up micronutrients like zinc, iron and manganese and reducing the uptake of magnesium and boron.

Manure does not add biology to your soils. Manure only supplies carbon which is a slowly available food source for the microbes. Compost adds the biology. Before applying manure, always consider carefully the fertility and nutrient balance of your soils in combination with the analysis of the manure.

How to take a compost or manure sample


  1. Scrape away the top dry layer of your compost/manure heap and take a core sample from inside.  
  2. Take about 20 samples from different sections of your compost/manure heap and mix these well in a bucket.  
  3. Put about 500g of this composite sample in a CropNuts sample bag, label well and dispatch to our laboratory.
  4. Do not use galvanized, soft steel or brass tools if trace metal analyses are desired.  
  5. Clean all tools between sampling.

Compost/Manure Analysis Packages

Code Analysis Name Description Days
CNCM010 Complete Manure/Compost Analysis pH, EC, % DM, %C, % N (C:N ratio), P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, B 7
CNCM015 Liquid Compost Extract Analysis pH, EC, NO3, NH4, Cl, HCO3, Si, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn, Mo, B 7
CNCM016 Compost 1:1.5 Water Extract Analysis pH, EC, NO3, NH4, Cl, HCO3, Si, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn, Mo, B 4
CNCM017 Heavy Metals Compost/Manure As, B, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Se, Zn 7

For more information please contact us through:

Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services Ltd.

Off Limuru road,Limuru, Kenya

Telephone +254 (0) 711094444, + 254 (0) 720 839 933


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