Compost Analysis Proficiency Program


The CAP program

CAP is a laboratory quality assurance program which is conducted as tri-annual exchanges of three [3] compost materials, each submitted in blind triplicate (3 × 3 × 3 = 27) for each of two testing tiers. Tier I. Inorganic; and Tier II. Inorganic plus Biological. Refer to Compost Analysis Proficiency Program Test Parameters(link to Test Methods #4). With the completion of each exchange, participating laboratories will be provided a statistical report with data as to their individual performance on each analysis. Statistical results of each exchange (Link to #2) and list of participating laboratories (link to #3) are accessible as Acrobat Reader pdf files.

Work Plan

The project will include the collection of up to nine [9] reference compost materials from across the United States, corresponding to the diversity of feed stocks and composting technologies employed by Participating STA Facilities.

Tier I
Each Tier I reference sample material is air dried, pulverized to pass a 1.0-mm screed and blended in a Patterson-Kelley V shell blender. Samples are packaged in 600 gram HDPE bottles. Three [3] air dry samples are submitted in blind triplicate [3] to the participating laboratories using regular mail.

Tier II (Required for STA labs)
Each Tier II reference sample represents a biologically active, moist compost. Individual samples are packaged in 600 gram HDPE bottles. quantities at wet ice temperature using chemical ice packs. Three [3] as-received moist samples are submitted in blind triplicate [3] to the participating laboratories using overnight express delivery. The STA Chain of Custody Form is used to track sample condition, timeliness of delivery and laboratory sample preparation. All USCC Seal of Testing Assurance Laboratories (STA) are required to enroll in the Tier II CAP Program. Each lab receives advance notice of sample delivery; notification is made by E-mail and fax one week prior to sample shipment. Confirmation of scheduling with CAP Project Leader is required.

Lab Proficiency Evaluation
Selected test methods from TMECC will be utilized in the CAP program. Results for each of the three compost sample exchanges will be statistically analyzed using median and MAD (median absolute deviation statistics), and measures of intra-laboratory repeatability and inter-laboratory reproducibility will be calculated. Laboratories providing data exceeding a 90% confidence interval of the median of each analysis parameter will be flagged as an outlier. Within 30 days of completion of an exchange, labs will be receive a report on proficiency. Project budget is based upon the enrolment of laboratories in the Tier I program, and laboratories enrolled in the Tier II program. The CAP program was first implemented in 2001.

CAP Project Management and Evaluation

Dr. Robert O. Miller is CAP project leader. He oversees collection of sample materials, compiles analytical data, performs statistical analysis, and prepares CAP reports. Summaries of CAP test results are monitored by the US Composting Council Lab Practices Subcommittee of the USCC Standards and Practices Committee.

Soil and Crop Sciences Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Phone: 970-686-5702
Fax: 970-491-0564
Email: [email protected]

With increasing utilization of compost, testing compost for quality is on the increase.

The publication of the Test Methods Manual for the Examination of Composting and Compost (TMECC), benchmark compost methods now exist for the testing lab industry. To ensure accurate and precise analysis and meet ISO 9001 requirements, a laboratory proficiency program is needed to provide testing labs with an external means of quality control evaluate laboratory performance, and evaluate inter-lab method performance.

CAP Exchange Report

CAP Summaries and Program Reports are provided in pdf v.4 format. Please download and use the most current version of Acrobat Reader. Go to the Adobe site to download free Acrobat Reader.

Known Browser Problems: If your browser cannot open pdf files, right-click the hyperlink text of interest and save the target file to your hard drive. Then open the downloaded pdf file using Acrobat Reader.

CAP Participating Laboratories

  • The underlined laboratory names are links to that labs web site.
  • How to sign up for Tier I or Tier II sample exchanges. [form]
  • Where to send payment when enrolling in the CAP program [form]
  • How to sign up for Tier I or Tier II sample exchanges.
  • Where to send payment when enrolling in a CAP program.

2012 Tier I CAP Participants

Agri-Food Laboratories
1-503 Imperial RD N
Guelph, ON  N1H 6T9  CANADA
Phone: 519-837-1600
Fax: 519-837-1240
Email: [email protected]

Ag Source Harris
Larry Claassen
300 Speedway Circle Unit 2
Lincoln, NE 68502
Email: [email protected]

Brookside Lab Inc.
308 S Main Street
New Knoxville, OH 45871
Phone: 419-753-2448
Fax: 419-753-2949
Email: [email protected]

CFIA OLC Inorganic Chemistry
Terrence Field
960 Carling Ave Bldg 22
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6 CANADA
Phone: 613-759-1497
Email: [email protected]

Dellavalle Laboratory Inc.
1910 W Mckinley #110
Fresno, CA 93728-1298
Phone: 559-233-6129 / 800-228-9896
Fax: 559-268-8174
Email: [email protected]

Soil & Feed Lab
PEI Department of Agriculture & Forestry
440 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N3 CANADA
Phone: 902-368-5656
Fax: 902-368-6299
Email: [email protected]

2012 Tier II CAP Participants

A&L Canada Laboratories
Robert J. Deakin
2136 Jetstream Road
London, ON N5V 3P5 CANADA
Phone: 519-457-2575
Fax: 519-457-2664
Email: [email protected]

A&L Great Lakes Labs
Lois Parker
3505 Conestoga Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
Phone: 260-483-4759
Fax: 260-483-5274
Email: [email protected]om

A & L Western AG Labs
Robert Buttterfield
1311 Woodland Ave  #1
Modesto, CA 95351
Phone: 209-529-4080
Email: [email protected]

Ag Analytical Services Lab
Julie Brooks
Penn State University
Tower Road University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-0841
Fax: 814-863-4540

Ana Beatriz Torres Geraldo
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
Santiago, Chile
Email: [email protected]

Midwest Laboratories Inc.
Jerry King
13611 B St.
Omaha, NE 68144
Phone: 402-334-7770
Email: [email protected]

Situ Biosciences LLC
Don P. Satchell
3415 Howard St. STE. 102
Skokie, IL 60076
Phone: 847-677- 4575
Email: [email protected]

Soil Control Lab
Frank Shields
42 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone: 831-724-5422
Fax: 831-724-3188
Email: [email protected]

Soil Test Farm Consultants
Brent Thyssen
2925 Driggs Dr.
Moses Lake, WA 98837
Phone: 509-765-1622
Email: [email protected]

Texas Element Inc.
Michael Lemieux
815 Brazos St.
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: 512-944-7151
Email: [email protected]

Texas Plant and Soil Lab
Noel Garcia
5115 W Monte Cristo Rd.
Edinburg, Texas 78541
Phone: 986-383-0739
Email:[email protected]


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