Thomas Turf Services, Inc. is dedicated to providing the highest quality laboratory soil testing available in support of the turf industry. We specialize in the physical analysis of sands, soils, and soil amendments for application as root zone mixes for putting greens, tees, and athletic fields.
We also measure the physical properties and make recommendations concerning the suitability of topdressing sands, bunker sands, fairway and rough soils. Additional laboratory analyses performed include the chemical analysis of soil, tissue and water samples. We also provide physical analysis of soil samples from existing facilities to aid in determining the cause of poor turf growth or for turf managers who want to characterize the soil conditions on their facility. As a part of our work we are called upon to work closely with architects, builders, sand suppliers, organic material suppliers and USGA personnel.
Our commitment to providing quality analyses to the turf industry is exemplified by our rigorous training and quality control programs. All laboratory technicians are carefully trained and tested prior to conducting any analyses for client samples. Training includes a period of observation, followed by hands-on supervised training, and finally an in-house test using our in-house quality control sample. Only after demonstrating good laboratory technique and the ability to correctly analyze the in-house quality control sample, is a new technician cleared for analysis of client samples.
While the turf laboratory industry has not had any quality control program until recently, Thomas Turf Services, Inc. has developed and utilized an in-house quality control system since its formation in 1992. This program involves running a control sample along with certain sets of unknown client samples and accepting the data only if the control data fall within the long term mean plus or minus one standard deviation. This rigorous quality control program insures that the analyses are performed correctly and the data are accurate and reproducible.
In addition, Thomas Turf Services, Inc. has participated in the USGA Green Section Proficiency Testing Program administered by Dr. Robert O. Miller since its beginning.
In addition, to the use of an in-house control sample and participation in proficiency testing, our laboratory organization adds an additional level of quality control. The analyses are conducted by the laboratory technicians. The data is entered into the computer by the Senior Technicians and double checked for accuracy. The Quality Manager then prints out the completed data analysis forms, double checks the data and submits them to the Technical Manager for preparation of the narrative report.
As part of the preparation of the final narrative report all data are double checked for technical grammar, internal consistency and, if possible, are compared to related analyses of the same materials. This three-tiered approach to quality control ensures that data are not reported until they are reviewed and checked repeatedly for validity and consistency.