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Brief History of Laboratory
The Soil Health, Plant Tissue & Water Laboratory was established during the 1930's. The original building was damaged by fire and the building which presently exists, with some amount of additions, was constructed in 1949. It is to be noted that on April 7, 1942, R.F. Innes, Chief Chemist of the Department of Agriculture completed an analysis of the soil on the Lynford property in St. Ann which is owned by Sir Alfred DaCosta, and informed the Director of Agriculture at the time, G.A. Jones, and Sir Alfred that there is aluminia in commercial quantities in the earth.
The Laboratory was designed to provide analytical services primarily to the farming community, local institutions and agencies. This service is now also extended to international agencies, companies and institutions. It analyses soil, plant tissue, water, fertilizer and other samples to determine their elemental contents. A significant number of the soil analysis is done to verify soil survey field data for soil identification, characterization and classification.
The laboratory has the potential to be pivotal to soil fertility and succession in crop production. It has shown to have profound impact on understanding the soils of Jamaica and on plant care. Therefore, given the wherewithal, the laboratory is able not only to earn money, but to earn the respect from having contributed to sustained successes in farming.
Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries
Government of Jamaica