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Biochemistry Laboratory (BCL)


Microbiology diluted fertilizer samples

The Biochemistry Laboratory (BCL) provides fit-for purpose, quality data for State regulatory programs and Federal cooperative agreements. The Biochemistry Laboratory is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture Division of Laboratory Services and serves the regulatory programs within the Colorado Department of Agriculture only. Regulatory program investigators from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and other state and federal programs submit the samples.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture Biochemistry Laboratory is not a fee for service laboratory and serves regulatory and federal programs only.

Kristina McCallum
Laboratory Manager


BCL Chemistry Sections

Feed and Fertilizer Testing

The laboratory analyzes animal feeds, pet foods, compost, and commercial and custom blend fertilizers to ensure label compliance for consumer protection. Regulatory compliance samples are provided to the laboratory through routine Colorado Department of Agriculture inspections of commercial distributors of fertilizers and feeds, feed and pet food manufacturers and custom fertilizer blending plants. Analyses include nutrients and listed ingredients.

Pesticide Enforcement

The Division of Plant Industry (DPI) Pesticide Enforcement Program investigates reports of misuse of pesticides and takes appropriate action under C.R.S Article 10 – Pesticide Applicators’ Act. Investigations include the collection and analysis of official samples across the State of Colorado. Investigation personnel collect the samples for analysis by the CDA Biochemistry Laboratory (BCL) under authority of CRS 35-10-119. The BCL analyzes a wide variety of matrices for pesticides using LC/MS/MS Triple Quadrupole and GC-MS technologies.

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 Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol through the process of post-decarboxylation using Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization detection.

Marijuana Enforcement

Per Executive Order D2015-015 by the Governor of the State of Colorado, the Biochemistry Laboratory analyzes marijuana plant material for pesticide residues using Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry Triple Quadrupole technology. Analysis of marijuana plant material 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 the improper use of agricultural chemicals. Samples collected from groundwater wells and surface water sources are analyzed by the Biochemistry Laboratory for analytes including Glyphosate/AMPA, Anions and 130 pesticides using Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry Triple Quadrupole, ion chromatography and an automated discrete analyzer.


BCL Microbiology Section

The Biochemistry Laboratory (BCL) Microbiology Unit tests environmental samples, animal and human food for pathogens like 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 Official Methods. The testing performed by the Microbiology Laboratory supports the state and federal food safety initiatives and programs.

Multicolored microbiology media plates

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