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History of Texas Plant & Soil Lab
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Dr. George Schulz
Texas Plant & Soil Lab of Edinburg in the lower Rio Grande Valley was established in 1938 as Texas Soil Laboratory, Inc. by Dr. George Schulz when he was enticed from Florida to start a commercial soil testing lab in McAllen, Texas to serve the citrus growers in The Valley. He had emigrated from Germany in 1933 through Ellis Island. Jobs were hard to find, then, even for a man with a Ph.D. in Chemistry. The only job he could find was milking cows. He then found a job in Wisconsin testing milk and later went to Florida to work with citrus.
Esper K. Chandler
and Soil Scientist
Texas Soil Laboratory, Inc. became Texas Plant & Soil Lab, Inc. when Esper K. Chandler (d. Nov., 2008), a Certified Professional Agronomist and Soil Scientist, acquired the lab in 1981 together with his partner, Dr. Albin D. Lengyel (d. Mar., 1993) of Phoenix, Arizona. Chandler started working with the lab in the mid-1950's and started research in 1964 correlating soil fertility to actual plant uptake.
This led to further refining the CO2 Extraction Method for Soil Testing.
Dr. Albin D. Lengyel
Lengyel was a teenage emigrant from Hungary to escape Hitler. After discharge from the U.S. Navy, he used the GI Bill to advance his education with degrees in agronomy, physiology and biochemistry. He established Lengyel's Agricultural Consulting Service and Laboratory in Phoenix and was a pioneer in the practical application of plant analysis, particularly petiole (leaf stem) sap testing. Beginning in 1964, collaborating with Lengyel, Chandler vigorously pursued petiole and leaf testing, as it accurately measures nutrient levels in the plant and allows fertilization adjustments to be made at critical times during the growing season. Chandler was the pioneer in the South in petiole testing, establishing proprietary field-proven standards. The research and development of these standards continues today.
Chandler started with boyhood farm experience as a tractor pilot. He went on to become a farm manager and owner, a L.S.U. Experiment Station researcher, Fertilizer Industry salesman, Agronomist, research and development and executive with three successive major fertilizer industry leaders and was an Independent Agricultural Consultant in Conventional, Sustainable, and Natural / Organic methods.
Sr. Consultant Conan T. Wood, Jr.,
a Rio Grande Valley native, had over 51 years of service to the lab.
Prior to Chandler's and Lengyel's acquisition of the lab, Wood was Laboratory Manager.
Afterwards, he became the Citrus Specialist and Manager of Field Services.
He retired as Senior Soil Texture Analyst in June, 2010 and died December 9th, 2010, aged only
By "asking the plants" what they need for maximum economic production with plant analysis, TPSL®, with the aid of many soil fertility experts, developed soil-testing procedures that uniquely imitate plant / soil interactions. Using university research procedures for extracting soil nutrients with Carbon Dioxide that closely duplicate the plant roots' natural process, TPSL®'s proprietary test value standards have been calibrated by plant analysis for rating actual soil nutrient availability. Citrus and Sugar Cane were the first crops analyzed for nutrient content and reported to growers. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, field crops, pastures, forage, lawns, gardens, athletic turf, etc. followed. Crop Logging, a program to track actual plant nutrient content against changing nutritional requirements at specific intervals throughout the growing season to adjust the fertilization program, is especially effective with irrigated installations as adjustments can be made quickly and precisely.
Chandler was cited as a leader in soil fertility and plant nutrition by Acres U.S.A., an internationally-recognized agricultural publication. They featured the lab as a cutting-edge leader in the field of soil fertility and plant nutrition. Later, they published a book (available from them) titled, Ask the Plant, thoroughly discussing Chandler's approach to these subjects.
Shortly thereafter, TPSL® registered the trademark, ASK THE PLANT® to identify its signature suite of petiole and leaf tests with proprietary nutritional interpretations and recommendations, together with its other signature test, the CO2 Extraction Method Soil Test, presented in our exclusive color-coded format. TPSL®'s development of standards using sap "plant blood" tests calibrated to soil tests is still leading the field of helping growers fix nutritional problems, resulting in improved yields, quality, and profits.
TPSL®'s ASK THE PLANT® exhaustive plant analysis identifies nutritional problems and increases yields, quality and profits by allowing correction of nutritional deficiencies in the plant at critical stages of growth seven to 21 days before it shows visible signs of stress. By the time problems are seen, the crop has already been retarded and will not achieve its capability.
A stressed plant makes it vulnerable to many disease and insect pressures. Often, these pressures can be reduced or eliminated by correcting nutrition.
The desired testing intervals vary with the plant. The reports are presented in our exclusive color-coded format in log form so that the client can track the effectiveness of his fertilization program when used for crops.
By maintaining balanced plant nutrition throughout the growing season, the plant can achieve maximum genetic potential and in any case, DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE WATER and FERTILIZER USE EFFICIENCY.
Texas Plant & Soil Lab, the first soil testing laboratory in the State of Texas, is in its 75th year (2013) of service to growers around the World. Texas Plant & Soil Lab is internationally recognized as a leader in practical and field-proven agricultural consulting. The lab performs soil, water, plant, compost, fertilizer and heavy metal analyses. The lab is especially well-known for its detailed and clear interpretations and recommendations included with its CO2 Method Soil Tests. In 2011, it became the 11th Approved US Composting Council Seal of Testing Assurance (USCC STA) Laboratory and is the only one in Texas and several contiguous (and beyond) states.
Texas Plant & Soil Lab – as originally established.
TPSL® has been named by several national publications such as Acres U.S.A. for general agriculture and then for home gardeners and landscape professionals by the upscale New York publication, Town & Country and also American Handyman, and a Readers Digest edition which referred to our uniquely most accurate method of soil testing with easy-to-understand exclusive color-coded report, together with interpretations and recommendations. TPSL® is recognized as an international leader in soil fertility and plant nutrition for most crops as well as, and including, grasses, forage, trees (ornamentals, groves and orchards) and many other plants. The present owner/chairman of TPSL® has not been mentioned in this history, as he does not seem to be quite yet dead.
Please contact us today at 956-383-0739 and speak with us
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of Ask The Plant®
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nutritional papers & method.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Ag Industries Association.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.
TP&S Lab is proud to be an approved Lab by the U.S. Composting Council for Seal of Testing Assurance.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the American Society for
Enology and Viticulture.
*ASEV and the ASEV Logo are licensed trademarks of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
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