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Crops being sprayed by a tractor

Pesticide and Herbicide Testing

Pesticide, Herbicide & Antibiotic Residue Testing

Chemical residue testing as a result of the use of pesticides and herbicides is an important process to ensure that soil, water, food and beverages are free from potentially harmful chemical residues, or to ensure trace residues of pesticides and herbicides are below safe consumption thresholds (MRLs).

In environmental and agricultural testing, the terms pesticide and herbicide residues are typically used to describe trace amounts of the chemicals themselves, or elements which as a result of these chemicals breaking down – that remain in organic matter such as fruit, vegetables, soils, air or water.

In alignment with the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment chemicals that may be detected as residues can include:

  • Insecticides which are used to manage insect pests in crops, protect stored or warehoused grain and control external parasites on animals
  • Herbicides used to control and exterminate weeds in crops
  • Antibiotics which are utilised to manage bacterial diseases which present in animals
  • Anthelmintics which are used to control internal parasites found in animals
  • Fungicides used to control fungal diseases or bacteria found in plants and plant products
  • Fumigants used to protect grain and sterilise soil, sheds and used in beekeeping exercises
  • Hormone and hormone mimics, estrogens and androgens
  • Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs)

Crops being sprayed by a tractor








These chemicals, which play crucial roles in the production of fruit and vegetable crops, as well as livestock, can also be harmful to humans and animals if the residues present exceed established health and safety regulations.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority also provide regulation in this space.

In Australia, FSANZ and the ANZFRMC set the residue standards, and the standards are published in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (ANZFSC).

  • There are three standards used in Australia for residues:
    Maximum residue limits (MRLs)
  • Extraneous residue limits (ERLs)
  • Maximum levels (MLs)

Lab test sample being examined

At Leeder Analytical, our NATA accredited, expert team of laboratory technicians and analysts offers reliable, fast, cost-efficient and accurate testing services for pesticide and herbicide residue.

We offer a wide range of tests that cover the major pesticide and herbicide groups that are currently sold in Australia. We’re able to effectively test and analyse soil samples, plant material and water for pesticide and herbicide residue.



For a free quote or a discussion how Leeder Analytical can assist you with your chemical residue testing and analysis requirements please contact us today via the form below, or on 03 9481 4167.

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