Welcome to the 2016 ACRES Conference

national acres conferenceThis week the National ACRES Conference gets underway in Omaha.  (November 30 – December 2, 2016)

Our staff at Midwest Laboratories have been attending this show over the past seven years and we have made a number of great connections at this show. We are really excited that this year the conference is in our backyard, Omaha, Nebraska.

The ACRES Conference is a great conference with an impressive list of speakers and topics in the area of sustainable and production-scale organic farming.

If you are planning on attending the conference this week, consider stopping by our booth or better yet, stop by the laboratory and learn more about your sample analysis. See the process first-hand.

Welcome to Omaha!

Midwest Laboratories



Some Thanksgiving Items to Remember

Have a Great Thanksgiving Celebration! 

Celebrate this time with family and friends and be thankful for the blessings you have received.










Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

Check out these Thanksgiving Tips and make sure your celebration is a fun and safe one!

How the Thanksgiving Holiday has Evolved

Take a few minutes and see how Thanksgiving became a national holiday.



Turnaround Time – Soil Testing

The cool temperatures and wet conditions in September delayed harvesting by a couple of weeks this fall. soil testing labAs a result, many growers harvested fields in a shortenesoil testingd amount of time. In addition, the weather turned unseasonably warmer and drier. At this point in the Omaha area, I can only remember three times when the low temperatures have been below freezing. Ideal conditions for harvesting and soil sampling.

These conditions also had an impact on sample volumes, more soil samples in a shorter time frame.

In 2016, Midwest Laboratories associates took steps to upgrade instrumentation, programming code and other internal processes to ensure  turnaround times remain consistent. (2-3 days from the time the sample is received).

Soil sampling supplies: soil bags, boxes, shipping labels continue to be sent out and soil sampling looks strong till  Thanksgiving.

We take turnaround time seriously all year long.

Here is one example:




Soil Testing – Why?

soil testingIf you are looking for a good read on soil testing, please consider reading this simple, 2-page article.

Soil Testing is worth the Effort – by Lee Reich

The best part of this article is the second page on the topic of Nitrogen.

Soil tests rarely determine nitrogen levels, even though this is the nutrient for which plants are hungriest. Nitrogen is readily lost from soil, puffing away as a gas or leaching from rainfall beyond the reach of roots. The stuff is simply too evanescent to make testing for it meaningful at any single point in time.

Most soil nitrogen is locked up in organic matter, so determining the percentage of organic matter in your soil offers an idea of the amount of nitrogen potentially available. I say “potentially” because nitrogen becomes available as soil microbes chew away at organic matter; the amount that plants actually get waxes and wanes as weather conditions influence microbial growth. If your soil contains about 4 percent organic matter, you probably have an acceptable level of nitrogen.

This article was written from an outside perspective, but Midwest Laboratories is referenced as a laboratory to consider. If you have more additional questions regarding soil testing, please consider contacting a representative at Midwest Laboratories.


Some Halloween Safety Tips

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween today!

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat

Halloween should be a fun time of dressing up sharing the night with family and friends, but it is also critical to be safe.

The following news story highlights some important tips to help insure a safe Halloween experience. I thought these tips warranted sharing them with as many people as I could today.


Halloween Candy – Calorie Content

Halloween CandyCheck ou this article. You might want to think a little bit before popping those mini-size candies in your mouth.

We’ve Unwrapped the Calorie Counts of Your Favorite Halloween Candy
by JENNY SUGAR, October 17, 2016

I can remember eating more than one bag of M&Ms thinking that these little bags barely had enough candies in them. Wow, I will think twice before opening one of those little bags at 100 calories a bag.

This article has highlighted the majority of the  candies. Here are just a few. Check out the article for a complete list.

3 Musketeers 63 2 10
Hershey’s Bar 67 4 7.7
M&M’s (Plain) 73 4 11.5
Baby Ruth 85 5 10
Butterfinger 85 4 10
Kit Kat 70 3 7
Milky Way 80 3 10
Snickers 80  4 8.5
Skittles 80 .8 14.5