Bellville native brings crop science home

Plant samples

Michelle Gregg in the Crop Health Science Labs office located at 93 Main Street in Bellville.

Crop Health Labs is aiming to change the way domestic crop testing is done by offering the agriculture industry an alternative to conventional tissue testing methods.

Executive Director and Bellville native, Michelle Gregg has brought the Netherlands based company to her hometown, opening up the United States’ main hub in downtown Bellville.

The company offers growers a testing method that they call plant sap analysis in place of the industry standard tissue test.

Gregg offered this explanation as to what the differences in their methodology is.

“It’s similar to a tissue test in that it analyzes plant nutrients, but instead of testing dried plant matter we extract the sap of a plant, said Gregg. “The fluid is a better indicator of the crop’s nutrient levels. It’s essentially a blood test for plants. We are able to detail and predict nutrient deficiencies three to four weeks prior to traditional tissue analysis.”

The U.S. pilot study for the company was conducted in 2014 and Gregg has been building their domestic client base ever since.

“We have about 475 clients in North America, from Canada and Latin American countries,” said Gregg.

Currently, Crop Health Labs receives samples from all of their U.S. partners in their unassuming 93 Main Street office, which shares space with Shirley Mcauley Accounting.

And Mcauley has even gotten in on business doubling as Crop Health’s logistics coordinator.

“I ship out samples twice a week,” she said. “That is about 70 lbs. of plant material in 244 bags.”

The plant matter that leaves the Bellville office makes its way to Crop Health’s home laboratory located in the Netherlands.

As for the future of the business, Gregg would like to partner with some of the larger growers in the area as she believes they would benefit from using Crop Health’s testing.

“The agricultural industry is putting more and more emphasis on crop inputs and fertilizers,” she said. “We offer consumers direct insight into what is actually in their crops.” Something Gregg believes will further stressed in years to come.