We use advanced scientific methods and cutting-edge equipment to thoroughly analyze your soil, crops and irrigation water, down to the molecular level.
Our analyses, assays, summaries, charts and graphs give you true insight into the health and future potential of everything you grow, from the ground up.
Our expert team provides actionable intelligence about your crops, explanation of results, and step by step advice on how to improve your yields through focused application of supplements.
What Can Apical Do For You?
At Apical, our mission is to improve crop quality and human health by integrating modern analytics with precision growing practices.
"By growing crops with maximum mineral content, we can maximize grower profits and minimize contamination."
Molecular Crop and Leaf Analyses
Our Leaf Extract Analysis reports give you full insight into the chemical and molecular health of your plants, using both new leaf and old leaf samples.
Easily share reports with coworkers, consultants and agronomists.
Molecular Soil Analyses
Our Soil Solution Analysis reports give you full insight into the chemical and molecular content of the soil that nourishes your plants, using both deep and shallow soil samples.
Irrigation Water Analyses
Our Irrigation Water Analysis reports give you detailed insight into the chemical content of the water that sustains your crops, using both Source and Field water samples.
Comprehensive Charting of Lab Results
Chart all of your report results for single or multiple cultivars, choosing from 17 different charting styles.
See results over time, view individual elements or groups of elements, compare ratios and concentrations, track elements from water to soil to leaf, sort data in tables and much more.
Detailed Weather Data for Each Cultivar
Easily track detailed weather data for each cultivar location, anywhere in the United States, including wind, precipitation, degree days, forecasts and historical data.
Who is Apical?
Apical LLC is an agricultural technology company that combines modern analytical methods, eco-friendly growing products and smart data management techniques to provide growers with the tools they need to grow extremely healthy, optimal-yielding crops, organically and with minimal pest problems.
Consumers have been trending towards accountability in their food supply for a number of years, most notably with Organic food products. However, the accountability of the food supply still is lacking in terms of overall integrity and capability to meet consumer demand.
Apical takes a fundamentally natural approach to agriculture production systems and combines it with modern technology to achieve optimal plant health and productivity while minimizing environmental impact. We use natural raw ingredients and modern analysis procedures to ensure crop quality. This is intended to provide health benefits to the consumer and the environment and to provide a pathway to increased yields.
By utilizing modern monitoring tools to validate and achieve optimal results for growers in the face of environmental stress, the pathway toward a systematic application of the techniques is now available.
To this end, we have developed technically sophisticated analytical methods, work with manufacturing partners to design custom crop inputs and provide a data platform that unites them. Upon this foundation, we develop customizable solutions to meet the needs of growers.
Our approach rests upon proper soil & plant health and a methodical process for their restoration to maximum functional capacity. Subsequently, we employ a multi-tiered monitoring program based on crop need and grower preference. Based on the results of the monitoring programs, proactive or corrective actions are taken.
The Crop Nutrition product line consists of Soil Amendments, Biological Inoculants, Biostimulants, Organic Liquid Fertilizers, Organic Herbicides, and insect-deterring products that can be customized to an individual grower's needs. Our products are 100% organic, natural and non-toxic to humans.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of reports are available?
Leaf Extract Analysis
- New Leaf – Most recently mature new growth
- Old Leaf – Most still viable old growth
Soil Solution Analysis
- Shallow Soil – The active rooting zone
- Deep Soil – The passive rooting zone
Irrigation Water Analysis
- Source Water – The main source of water (well, lake, ditch, creek, river, etc.)
- Field Water – The source of water the plant uses (dripline, sprinkler nozzle, hose end, pivot, etc.)
What is Leaf Extract Analysis?
Leaf Extract Analysis is a horticultural analysis technique used to analyze the mineral content of plant fluids.
What is the purpose of Leaf Extract Analysis?
To use plant fluid mineral data reports to inform nutrient management decisions.
How do I get started?
Our Getting Started Guide has instructions for taking and submitting samples, ordering labels, preparing labels, shipment and more.
How much does a report cost?
Each standard report costs $75 and analyzes and compares old/new leaf, shallow/deep soil or source/field irrigation water.
If you only want to send a single sample per report (new OR old leaf, deep OR shallow soil, source OR field water), each report is $50. Most growers send old leaf/new leaf and shallow soil/deep soil, but some growers choose to send only one water sample (usually from the water source) or new leaf samples for new plants.
NOTE: For best results, we highly recommend sending both samples for your reports. Our reports compare the samples to each other to show how nutrients move through the plant or soil, or how nutrients are lost or changed between a water source and a field irrigation point..
Is there a discount if I place a large bulk order?
Yes. Bulk Orders (ordering more than one report at the same time) use scheduled discounts:
- 1-10 reports: $75 each
- 11-99 reports: $70 each
- 100+ reports: $65 each
NOTE: Discounts apply only when all reports are:
- Prepaid and ordered in bulk in advance on the web site, -or-
- Prepayment is made in advance by contacting our office.
For large numbers of reports (20 or more), we recommend contacting our office at 503-479-8407 to set up a prepaid account. This gives you immediate access to your reports once the samples have processed, bypassing the PayPal process and fees.
How long does it take to receive my results?
Leaf and Water samples are generally processed within 3 business days of being received at our lab. Soil samples are slow-dried for 7 days before processing begins. Once the laboratory has analyzed your samples, results will be received by email within 2 business days.
This means that Leaf and Water results will be sent to you within 5 business days of our receiving them. Soil results will be available within 5 + 7 days (12 days total, with the extra days for soil slow drying).
Results are delivered by email, usually within 3-5 days from the time the lab receives the samples.
Does Apical Sell Products Like Biostimulants, Nutrients and Amendments?
Our Organic Products List shows all of the products available for purchase through Apical.
We offer organic algricultural products from the following major suppliers:
- AgriGro, Inc.
- Agro Research International (ARI)
- Eden Solutions
- Ferticell (Agro Plasma, Inc.)
- FertilGold Organics
- Grower's Secret (Vital Vit)
- Growth Products
- Mapleton Agri Biotech PTY LTD
- PB Ohrstrom
- Tainio Biologicals, Inc.
How do I get prepare my labels?
Our Sample Shipping Labels page has detailed instructions for printing and applying your sample labels.
How do I place an order online?
Click on Orders on the top menu. You will see a page for ordering a single report (Leaf Extract Analysis, Soil Solution Analysis, Irrigation Water Analysis) or multiple reports at once with a Bulk Order.
Each single report costs $75, and each report in a Bulk Order costs $75. For example, if you order 5 reports in a Bulk Order, your total cost is $375.
Do you accept Hemp?
Yes. As of June 2019, we can accept Hemp samples with a THC concentration below 0.3 percent. Note, however, that we CANNOT accept any cannabis samples unless they are hand-delivered to the laboratory. We cannot accept cannabis samples via mail, UPS, FedEx, etc.
Here’s the language of the new policy:
“Hemp and hemp-based products, including cannabidiol (CBD) with the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of such hemp (or its derivatives) not exceeding a 0.3 percent limit are permitted to be mailed only when:
a. The mailer complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (such as the Agricultural Act of 2014 and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales; and
b. The mailer retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 2 years after the date of mailing.”
What elements are analyzed for a given sample?
Our reports list concentrations of elements and molecules, Mobile Nutrients (Phloem), Immobile Nutrients (Xylem) - along with helpful interactive charts and graphs - and are grouped into the following categories:
- Primary Indicators
- Major Cations
- Secondary Cations
- Minor Cations
- Major Anions
- Secondary Anions
- Minor Anions
- New Leaf vs. Old Leaf Ratios
- Calcium Ratios
- Limiting Indicators (Mobile, Immobile)
In addition to pH, Digital Brix, Qualitative Brix and Electrical Conductivity, we report concentrations of the following elements and molecules:
- Ammonium (NH4)
- Potassium (K)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Calcium (Ca)
- Sodium (Na)
- Iron (Fe)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Zinc (Zn)
- Copper (Cu)
- Cobalt (Co)
- Nitrate (NO3)
- Phosphorous (P)
- Sulfur (S)
- Chloride (Cl)
- Silicon (Si)
- Iodine (I)
- Boron (B)
- Molybdenum (Mo)
- Aluminum (Al)
- Selenium (Se)
How do I share my report with an agronomist or consultant?
Our Agronomists and Recommendations page has detailed instructions for sharing your reports with other Apical customers.
When you order a report on our web site, there is a field on the order form where you add email addresses of Apical customers with whom you would like to share the report. These individuals will receive email updates about your order and will be able to view your reports from their own Grower Home page.
When you print and apply your Sample Shipping Labels, you may also enter those email addresses on the sample labels for each sample set.
Additionally, each report has a 'Share This Report' button that takes you to a sharing page which allows you to share a single report with an agronomist or consultant. There is a secondary field on that page that allows you to share ALL of your reports with an agronomist or consultant.
You can share with multiple people by adding comma-separated email addresses.
For example, to share the current report with a business partner and a biostimulant provider, you might enter:
How do you use Leaf Extract Analysis to inform nutrient management?
By sampling and analyzing different parts of the plant, agronomic principles can be utilized to determine which nutrients are deficient, balanced, or toxic.
How do I get advice or recommendations for my crops?
Our Agronomists and Recommendations page has detailed instructions for requesting a review of your report for recommendation purposes.
You can order General Notes for $10 for a quick synopsis of your results. Example: High Boron, Low Calcium, Toxic Sodium
You can order a Detailed Recommendation for $25 for a full review of your report, including specific products and quantities to apply. For example: (on a per acre basis)
- 500 lb Soft Rock Phosphate
- 500 lb Perfect Blend 4-4-2
- 250 lb Feather Meal
- 500 lb Fish Bone Meal
- 250 lb Mesa Verde Humates
How do I view my order status?
Click on Order -> View All Orders on the top menu. You will see a list of Pending Orders, followed by a list of Completed Orders.
If you placed your order on the web site, you will see the current status of all your orders. If you sent in samples to the laboratory without creating an online order, then your order will be added to the web site only after it has been processed by the laboratory.
How do I view all my reports?
Click on Reports on the top menu. You will see lists of reports, grouped by report type. Each entry has a 'View' link to view the report.
You can also see all of your reports on your Grower Home page. Scroll down to see links to all of your leaf, soil and water reports.
If looking for reports on your Grower Home page, note that you can click in the top right corner of the report section to switch between Card View (colored tiles) or List View (more efficient data display). You can change your default setting (card vs. list) on your Grower Settings page, which is available by clicking the 'Grower Settings' button on the top right corner of your Grower Home page.
How do I read the reports?
Does it take a long time to learn to read the reports?
By reading our interpretation guide, one can usually learn the basics within half an hour; however, after generating and reading reports for four years, we are still gaining insights.
How do I get the most out of the reports?
- Add General Notes to each report ($10)
- Add a Detailed Recommendation to each report ($25)
- Book a private consultation
- Gain Deeper insight on crop health with the Apical LEAF Program
I'm waiting for my report. Can I call to see if it's complete?
Reports are made available to you within 24 hours of being processed by the lab. As soon as the data is uploaded to the web site, you will receive an email with a link to view (or pay for) the report.
Rest assured that you will receive your reports as soon as they are created. There is no need to call, and calling Apical will not speed up your results.
Who can benefit from using Leaf Extract Analysis?
- Farmers that wish to improve crop productivity and health
- Agronomists, Crop Advisors and Consultants who make fertilizer recommendations
- Organic growers looking to maximize the organic method
- Conventional growers looking to minimize fertilizer costs
- Students of Agriculture/Horticulture
What can I learn from Leaf Extract Analysis?
- How to optimize fertilization
- General plant health by primary indicators
- Balance of nutrients in different parts of the plant
- Toxic elements that are causing plant stress
- Nitrogen excess/deficiency
- Micronutrient deficiencies
- Nutrient management preferences by cultivar
- Much More…
Why is Leaf Extract Analysis beneficial?
The mineral content of the plant fluids is a predictive indicator of plant tissue content.
By analyzing the plant fluids during transport prior to becoming part of the plant tissue, the mineral needs and excesses of the plant can be adjusted.
How does Leaf Extract Analysis differ from Plant Tissue Analysis?
In Tissue Analysis, the plant fluids within the plant leaf are excluded and the cellular tissue is analyzed.
In Leaf Extract Analysis, the cellular fluids are analyzed and the tissue components are excluded.
Is Leaf Extract Analysis “Sap Testing”?
Sap testing usually implies that plant leaves are juiced to a pulp and analyzed in the field for 1-5 nutrient analytes using portable meters.
In Leaf Extract Analysis, the pure cellular fluids of the plant are extracted and analyzed on precision laboratory equipment for 22 or more analytes.
How do you extract the fluids?
We employ a multi-stage process that excludes the vascular transport bundles, cellular wall structures and other tissue components. The process produces pure plant fluids to be used for analytical purposes.
How do you analyze the fluids?
We utilize scientifically accepted scientific methods for plant-matrix analysis using precision laboratory techniques for sub part-per-million quantitation.
What is Apical’s LEAF program?
Apical’s LEAF program is our consulting program for growers. By working directly with the Apical staff, we pave the path to soil health, crop productivity and farm profitability.
Contact us for more information.
- Precision forecasting of plant needs based on analysis results
- Custom Data interpretation
- Detailed Crop Fertilizer Recommendations
- Custom Foliar Nutrition Blends
- Custom Biological Inoculant Recommendations
- Biological-Nutrient Synergy
Leaf Extract Analysis Interpretation
- To maintain optimal plant growth, quality and yield, plant nutrients must be balanced and abundant.
- As most plants grow, they strive to maintain a balance of nutrients between new and old leaves.
- Generally, a balanced report shows slightly lower levels (5%) of all nutrients in new leaves.
- A wide gradient between upper and lower leaves is a sign of an imbalance.
- Imbalances in leaf extract analysis show excesses or deficiencies of nutrients.
- If mobile nutrients (see below) are not available in sufficient quantities, the plant will use lower leaf nutrients for upper growth and the imbalance will appear as a lower ppm value in the lower leaves.
- If immobile nutrients (see below) are not available in sufficient quantities, the plant will grow slower and will not achieve full leaf and fruit size or fruit quality, and it will appear as a lower ppm value on the upper leaves.
What is Leaf Extract Brix?
- Leaf Brix is a general indicator of plant health and vigor.
- Higher Brix is usually indicative of crops with desirable qualities (yield, quality, flavor, shelf life, etc.).
- Generally, as Brix increases, insect and disease pressure decrease.
- Higher Brix is usually indicative of good Calcium uptake.
What is the purpose of Leaf Extract pH?
- Lower pH usually means there is less light, microbial activity, low concentration of cations, an excess of anions or more water than the plant needs.
- Higher pH usually means excess heat, insufficient water, a low total anions, or an excess of cations.
What is the purpose of Leaf Extract EC?
- EC should gradually rise through the crop cycle prior to harvest from low to high.
- Low EC (< 5 mS/cm) is often caused by excess Phosphorous, Sulfur, compacted soils or low soil pH.
- High EC (> 18 mS/cm) is often caused by excess Nitrate, Potassium, loose soils, high soil pH.
What is the significance of Mobile Nutrients (Phloem)?
Mobile nutrients include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Chloride, Iodine, Sodium and Molybdenum.
- Deficiencies of mobile nutrients are indicated by lower ppm readings in the old leaves compared to the new leaves, due to sluggish transport to new growth.
- A surplus of a mobile nutrients are indicated by higher ppm readings in the old leaves compared to the new leaves due to lack of complimentary nutrient synergy.
- Deficiencies often caused by low soil ppm, excess of competing nutrients, low microbial soil activity.
- Excess often caused by over-fertilization, loose soil, soil type, or plant bioaccumulation.
What is the significance of Immobile Nutrients (Xylem)?
Immobile nutrients include Calcium, Silicon, Sulfur, Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Boron and Copper.
- Deficiencies of immobile nutrients are indicated by lower ppm readings in the new leaves, compared to the old leaves as the plant is unable to transport them to the new shoots.
- A surplus of immobile nutrients is indicated by higher ppm readings in the new leaves compared to the old leaves due to lack of complimentary nutrient synergy.
- Common during periods of rapid growth, low micronutrient soil levels, and low microbial activity
- Deficiency is often caused by improper pH, temperature, ORP, compaction or antagonism.
- Excess is often caused by soil type or low pH.