Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Speaker | Soil and Crop Sciences Dept.

Fort Collins, CO |

Dr. Miller is an affiliate professor in the soil and Crops Science Department at Colorado State University. He received his BS and MS degrees from the University of Nebraska, and his Ph.D. degrees at Montana State University. He served as the Director of the University of California Davis Diagnostic Laboratory and Extension Soil Specialist from 1988 to 1997. Since 1997 he is the coordinator of three lab proficiency testing programs.

For the past 22 years he has coordinated the STA Compost-Certified Laboratory aka Compost Analysis Proficiency (CAP) Program, which assess methods and laboratories based on the US Compost Council method manual- the Test Methods for the Examination of Compost (TMECC). The program provides three compost materials tri-annually to eighteen laboratories in North America, and is required for STA Certified Compost participants testing their products. Since 1997 the STA Compost-Certified Laboratory program has evaluated 189 compost materials collected across the US and Canada.

Session Name: Knowledge is Power: Understanding the STA Certified Compost Program for stronger utilization

Session Time: Wednesday, January 29, 1:45 to 3:15 PM

Presentation Title: The USCC STA Certified Compost Laboratory Certification Program

Presentation Description: With the development of the Test Methods of the Examination of Compost in 1997 the USCC facilitated the establishment of the STA Compost-Certified Laboratory aka Compost Analysis Proficiency (CAP) Program. The STA Lab program provides three compost samples tri-annually for inorganic and biological analysis for evaluating lab performance for STA Certified Compost product certification and the assessment of test method performance. Each participating laboratory provides analysis in triplicate for each compost analysis method.  Annually 16-18 labs across the US and Canada are enrolled in the STA Lab program with 11-12 Labs STA certified for inorganic and biological testing.  Labs not meeting STA Compost-Certified Lab standards of performance are removed from the USCC STA Compost-Certified Laboratory website. Over the past 20 years the STA Lab program has evaluated 180 compost materials collected across the US and Canada. Compost methods which show consistent high intra-lab performance include SOM-LOI, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, total sulfur, total cations, total Zn, total Cu, total P, seedling germination.  Methods showing poor intra-lab performance include pH, EC 1:5, NO3-N, boron and respiration tests. Of the compost material evaluated < 1% have had US-EPA 503 metals exceeding threshold values, and generally concentrations for As, Hg and Se are below laboratory detection limits.