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In cooperation with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association and the UW Hancock Agricultural Research Station, AgSource Laboratories is offering free GAP water sample pick-up this summer.

'We are very excited to work with both locations in order to offer this new, convenient option for growers to submit their GAP water samples,' said Eric Helms, AgSource Laboratories VP of Laboratory Management. 'This is the first time we've been able to offer this type of service, and we hope it will help growers get their samples in with less time and hassle.'

With the 2016 growing season upon us, many produce growers will soon be collecting GAP, which stands for Good Agricultural Practices, water samples from irrigation and postharvest water sources for microbiological analysis. Growers will need to comply with the 2015 Final Rule on Produce Safety of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in November 2015, which requires E. coli testing. Audit organizations also require total coliform testing in order to be GAP certified.

Starting in June, sterile bottles can be picked up and then dropped back off at two locations: the Hancock Ag Research Station and WPVGA offices. Because of the 30 hour maximum sample hold time, water samples should be taken no earlier than noon on Mondays for pickup at the Hancock Ag Research Station and 6 AM Wednesdays for pickup at the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

UW Hancock Ag Research Station, N3909 County Rd V, Hancock

Pick-up your sterile bottles for e coli and total coliform tests at the Hancock Ag Research Station during business hours, 8 AM-4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Supplies will be located on an AgSource table inside the Main Office door on the first floor landing. The first pick-up of filled sample bottles will be on June 14 at 8 AM.

Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, 700 5th Ave., Antigo

Pick-up your sterile bottles for e coli and total coliform tests during business hours 8:30 AM-4:00 PM at the WPVGA office, located on the 3rd floor. The first pick-up at WPVGA offices will be Wednesday June 15 at 4 PM.

AgSource Laboratories will have pick-ups from June 14 to October 12 on the dates listed below.

Hancock – 8am pick-up

·June 14, 21 and 28

·July 5, 12 and 19 (no pick-up July 26)

·Aug 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30

·Sept 6, 13, 20 and 27

·Oct 4 and 11

Antigo – 4pm pick-up

·June 15, 22 and 29

·July 6, 13, 20 and 27

·Aug 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31

·Sept 7, 14, 21 and 28

·Oct 5 and 12

Cost of water analysis

To meet the new audit testing requirements, growers will need both total coliform and E. coli tests with results that actually count the bacteria colonies. The cost for both total coliform and e coli tests is $30 per sample. Growers will be billed after samples are analyzed.

If you have any questions, contact Jean Bernius, AgSource Laboratories 3700 Downwind Dr., Marshfield, WI 54449, jbernius@agsource.com, 715-240-0444 or 715-898-1402.

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