Biochemistry Laboratory

The Colorado Department of Agriculture Biochemistry Laboratory is an integrated operational unit of the Division of Laboratory Services. The Biochemistry Laboratory includes microbiology and chemistry testing sections that support a variety of State regulatory and Federal cooperative agreement programs (CAP). The Colorado Department of Agriculture, Division of Laboratory Services Biochemistry Laboratory (DLS-BCL) is focused on protecting consumers in the State of Colorado by providing timely, fit-for purpose, quality data. The chemistry sections are divided into three main laboratories: Pesticide Laboratory, Agricultural Water Quality Laboratory and Feed/Fertilizer Laboratory. Samples provided to the BCL laboratories for analyses are brought directly from Divisional regulatory program investigators within the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

The Biochemistry Laboratory is not a fee-for-service laboratory and only accepts samples from the Division of Inspection & Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, and the Agricultural Water Quality Program and other state and federal programs.

Kristina McCallum

Laboratory Manager

BCL Chemistry Sections

Feed and Fertilizer Testing

The Feed Laboratory analyzes livestock feeds, pet foods, and animal feed ingredients to ensure label compliance for the protection of consumers and animals.  Regulatory compliance feed samples are provided to the laboratory through CDA Division of Inspection and Consumer Services routine inspections of commercial feed and pet food manufacturers and distributors.  Analyses include nutrients, drugs, vitamins and amino acids.

Pesticide Enforcement

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Division of Plant Industry (DPI) Pesticide Enforcement Program investigates reports of alleged misuse of pesticides and takes appropriate action based on evidence that violations have occurred under C.R.S Article 10 – Pesticide Applicators’ Act. Investigations include the collection and analysis of official samples across the State of Colorado.  Plants Division Investigation personnel collect the investigation samples and they are analyzed by the CDA Biochemistry Laboratory (BCL) under authority of CRS 35-10-119. The BCL analyzes a wide variety of matrices for targeted pesticides or pesticide screening for multiple pesticides utilizing LC/MS/MS Triple Quadrupole and GC-MS technology.

NOP Program

The CDA certifies farms that meet all of the necessary criteria as “Organic” in Colorado. Because the CDA is the certifying body it is our responsibility to ensure that these farms are not using any prohibited pesticide products. Each year a certain product category (potatoes, stone fruits, corn) is selected and samples are brought to the Biochemistry Laboratory to be screened against a list of over 150 different pesticides.

Hemp Program

Under State and Federal law, the Biochemistry Laboratory tests industrial hemp samples as well as hemp from the certified seed program for total delta-9 THC through the process of post-decarboxylation on the GC-FID.

Marijuana Enforcement

Pursuant to Executive Order D2015-015 by the Governor of the State of Colorado, the Biochemistry Laboratory analyzes marijuana plant material for pesticide residues utilizing LC/MS/MS Triple Quadrupole technology. Analysis of marijuana plant material directly supports the Executive Order to address threats to public safety posed by marijuana contaminated by pesticides

Groundwater and Surface Water Monitoring

The CDA Agricultural Water Quality Program protects state waters and the environment from impairment or degradation due to the improper use of agricultural chemicals while allowing for their proper and correct use. Samples collected from groundwater wells and surface water sources are analyzed the Biochemistry Laboratory for analytes including Glyphosate/AMPA (9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl FMOC derivatization), Anions (Ion Chromatography) and over 90 pesticides (LC/MS/MS Triple Quadrupole)


BCL Microbiology Section

The DLS-BCL Microbiology Laboratory tests environmental samples, animal and human food for pathogens including but not limited to Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), bacterial toxins, mold toxins and certain plant toxins . The Microbiology Laboratory uses both cultural and instrumental techniques to detect, isolate and confirm pathogens and toxins using Standard Methods such as FDA-BAM, USDA-MLG and AOAC Official Methods. The testing performed by the Microbiology Laboratory supports the CDA Division of Inspection and Consumer Services as well as state and federal food safety initiatives and programs.


Contact Us

Physical Address
Colorado Department of Agriculture
300 S. Technology Ct. Broomfield CO 80021

Kristi McCallum
Laboratory Manager
Phone number: (303) 869-9257

Phone number: (303) 869-9250