Woods End Laboratories, Inc.

Woods End Laboratories, Inc.


The focus of Woods End’s microbiology laboratory is to provide highly qualified testing and consulting relative to microbiological quality and safety of composts and other organic soil-amendment products. People frequently ask- why test compost microbiologically? Microbes confer many very positive traits on compost. They are also a source of concern with regard to pathogens. Compost is considered desirable because it is thought to be pathogen-free. Thus, examining a compost for absence of pathogens or pathogen-indicators is one of the most certain ways to assure that this is the case. Used intensively in horticulture and agriculture, there should be no reason that the product would be unsafe.

Among the services we provide:

  • To determine microbial plate counts, fungal counts and microbial-activity in composts.
    • Aerobic / anaerobic plate counts and bacterial biomass
    • Spore forming bacteria
    • Total fungal counts and biomass
    • VAM spores
    • Actinomycete plate count
    • Bacillus plate count (subtillus and cereus).
    • Protozoa counts and characterizations
    • Nematode counts
    • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria
    • Hydrocarbon degrading bacteria
    • Fluorescent pseudomonads
  • To measure EPA-503 potential pathogens in biosolids and compost amendments.
    • Salmonella (new EPA #1682 method)
    • Fecal coliform (new EPA #1680 method)
  • To evaluate finished composts for hygienic standards.
    • Escherichia coli
    • E. coli-0157.H7
    • Listeria spp.
    • Clostridium perfringens
    • Fecal streptococci
    • Enterococci spp.
  • To evaluate ability of a compost product or growth medium to suppress several common fungal pathogens.
    • Bioassay of compost product or growing medium by challenging with specific fungal pathogens
    • Manipulate assays to determine best use of compost or growth medium

COMPOST TEA TESTING SERVICES – We provide a range of analytical services specific to use of compost teas for disease suppression and nutrient supply. Our experience includes use with vegetables (cucumbers, strawberries) and viticulture.

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