At AgroCares, we develop innovative soil testing solutions that completely change the perception of soil testing and allow us to receive vital information about soil fertility in a fast and affordable manner. Our team comprises excellent soil scientists and researchers in the field of sensor technologies, experienced agronomists, IT specialists, and data analysts. Together we provide the solutions, which unleash crucial and comprehensive information about soil conditions from numerous spots in the field and make it possible to digitize and automate agricultural practices worldwide.
As AgroCares brings new innovative soil testing solutions to the markets, there are always many questions regarding the accuracy and quality of the technology. At AgroCares, we follow many procedures and protocols to ensure the quality of the measurements delivered to the final users.
In this article, we would like to explain one aspect of quality control of analytical measurements used by AgroCares to produce reliable and coherent data – participation in the independent proficiency testing scheme – WEPAL (Wageningen Evaluating Programmes for Analytical Laboratories).
What is WEPAL?
WEPAL is a proficiency testing (PT) scheme that assesses the laboratories’ performance by comparing the laboratory results with those of other laboratories by regularly analyzing the same homogenized sample (commonly, four times a year). WEPAL is a world-leading organizer of proficiency test programs in the plant, soil, sediments, and organic waste. More than 500 participants are using different PT schemes from all over the world. Nowadays, more and more laboratories are joining WEPAL as this control measure is recommended for accredited laboratories to ensure their proficiency. In some countries, it is obligatory for the laboratories to be part of the independent laboratory evaluation exchange program.
How does it work?
Usually, the WEPAL program participants receive a pre-treated, homogenized sample without any previous information about the composition of origin. All participants report the parameters of their interest and perform the soil analysis following their standard laboratory procedures. After the participants submit all the results, WEPAL delivers the final consolidated reports showing the results provided by all laboratories, methods applied, further statistical calculations. As AgroCares is also a part of WEPAL, we follow the same procedure to assure the quality and have a regular independent assessment of the analytical performance of our reference laboratory Golden Standard Laboratory (GSL). GSL is AgroCares’ high-quality analytical reference laboratory used for developing a global soil database to its spectroscopic devices and has participated in WEPAL since 2013.
As of January 2020, our spectral soil testing solutions are also part of WEPAL and are assessed in the same manner.
The AgroCares Scanner and Lab-in-a-Box solutions entered WEPAL
AgroCares Scanner and Lab-in-a-Box technologies are the first spectral laboratories to join the WEPAL proficiency testing scheme.
For the NIR-based Scanner solution, AgroCares has just started reporting pH and organic carbon, and will gradually introduce the remaining parameters that the Scanner measures. For the MIR-XRF-based Lab-in-a-Box solution, all macro and microelements are reported, which are also submitted by AgroCare’s Golden Standard Laboratory.
AgroCares is a forerunner in introducing database-driven spectral soil testing solutions. With the participation of the Scanner and the Lab-in-a-Box in the WEPAL program, soil spectroscopy is a step closer to being accepted as a reliable alternative for fast, affordable, and accessible soil testing. We intend to step aside from model performance and evaluate the accuracy of our technology based on repeatability of measurements and deviation from the “true value.”
From now on, our performance will be evaluated based on the comprehensive laboratory evaluation program used by other analytical laboratories.
Would you like to learn more about Lab-in-a-Box, Scanner solutions, and their possibilities? Please check our product page or contact us for more information by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org