Research and News

  • 1/28/19 - The MSCL Closed on January 29, 2019 Due to Weather

    On Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, will be closed all day due to inclement weather. When submitting samples, please keep this in mind as this affects report turnaround time and sample submission for that day. Weather permitting, regular business is scheduled to resume on the following day, Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

  • 11/6/18 - Holiday Schedule for Thanksgiving

    Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory is to be closed on Wednesday, November 21st through Friday, November 23rd. When submitting samples, please keep this in mind as this affects report turnaround time and sample submission. Regular business is scheduled to resume on Monday, November 26th, at 8:00 a.m. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • 10/12/18 - October 29, 2018-LABORATORY CLOSED FOR TRAINING

    On Monday, October 29, 2018, the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, is to be closed all day due to laboratory wide training. When submitting samples, please keep this in mind as this affects report turnaround time and sample submission for that day. Regular business is scheduled to resume on the following day, Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

  • 9/18/18 - Temporary Construction Work on Parking Lot

    MSCL clients, please pardon our dust while we improve our ADA parking. A 30 minute parking spot will be temporarily relocated to the Hand South Parking Lot for your convenience. You may enter the building using either the east or west doors.


    The Hand Laboratory building, which includes Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, is to be closed all day on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 due to a scheduled power outage. When submitting samples, please keep this in mind as this affects report turnaround time and sample submission for that day. Regular business is scheduled to resume on the following day, Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

  • 5/18/16 - Dr. Ashli Brown Participates in Panda Microbiome Research Study

    Dr. Ashli Brown, State Chemist at Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory and Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, participated in a panda microbiome research study. The study, titled "Dietary Shifts May Trigger Dysbiosis and Mucous Stools in Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)", has been published in Frontiers in Microbiology. For more information about the study, please click on the link below. Congratulations, Dr. Brown.

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  • 4/1/15 - MSU Extension Service Publication

    Dr. Ashli Brown and Gale Hagood, along with MSU Extension Poultry Science's Tom Tabler and Morgan Farnell, Chris McDaniel (MSU Poultry Science) and Jon Kilgore (Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation) authored the publication, "Nutrient Content in Mississippi Broiler Litter". The publication details their study of broiler litter and documents their extensive research on the subject. In addition to all of their work, a special acknowledgement goes out to Olga Pechanova and Cindy Foster for their contributions to the analyses. Below is a link to the publication:

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  • 6/15/14 - Annual FDA ISO Cooperative Agreement Program Face-to-Face Meeting 2014

    Dr. Ashli Brown and Gale Hagood attended the Annual FDA ISO Cooperative Agreement Program Face-to-Face Meeting 2014. The meeting was held at the FDA PRLSW Lab in Irvine, CA. The training included ISO Cap Program Overview provided by the FDA Office of Regualatory Science and Office of Partnerships. The FDA laboratory quality system was presented by the PRLSW Quality Manager. Other topics included were the ISO-MFRPS Sampling Agreement, FSMA and Partnership for Food Protection, Accreditation Resources, Quality System software and other Accreditation requirements. Time was alloted for the Mentor-mentee labs to meet and discuss the ISO process.

  • 6/15/14 - Association of Public Health Laboratories 2014 Annual Meeting

    Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) annual meeting and Goverment Environamental Lab Conferncec 2014 in Little Rock, AR. Dongping Jiang and Gale Hagood attended the conference and participated in the 'Let's Go, ISO! How Your colleagues Began Their Path to ISO Accreditation', preconference training. Other attendees pictured left to right are Patryce McKinney, Alaska Environmental Health Laboratory; Dongping; Gale; Dan Rice, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; Megan Davis, South Carolina Bureau of Laboratories and Dana Shell, Georgia Department of Agriculture Laboratory. All are part of the FDA ISO 17025 Cap Grant, either seeking or have already attained accreditation. Dan is the residing president of APHL.

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  • FERN Training 20145/1/14 - National Training Opportunity

    MSCL Environmental Residue Chemist, Jack Atkins, recently returned from training at the Washington State Department of Health in Shoreline, WA. Jack was chosen from a select group of applicants for the FDA Food Emergency Network (FERN) Training Course, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.

  • Winston Academy 4/11/14 - Winston Academy gets hands on at the Misssissippi State Chemical Lab

    Teacher Howard Ryals brought his students to the MSCL this week for a little hands on in a working chemical laboratory. Students were allowed to participate in actual extraction processes. We hope this experience will spark an interest in furthering their education in the field of Chemistry and MSU.

  • 3/19/14 - Okalona Poultry Farmer Learns From MSU

    OKOLONA – Okolona poultry grower Joe Ellis did not even want the Mississippi State University Extension Service professor to get out of his vehicle unless he had practical experience raising chickens. Tom Tabler was new to Mississippi, but he was not new to the challenges poultry growers like Ellis face every day — and sometimes night. “I know what it feels like to wake up to alarms going off at 3 in the morning,” said Tabler, the MSU Extension poultry specialist. Tabler, who came to MSU in 2012, earned a bachelor’s degree in poultry science before working at a private farm in Arkansas. Then he returned to school and ran the University of Arkansas’ poultry facility near Fayetteville for 21 years, obtaining his master’s and doctorate degrees along the way. “I knew exactly where Joe was coming from when he asked first for my credentials. There is a lot more that goes into raising birds than can be found in books and classrooms,” Tabler said. “There is a lot of science that goes into raising birds, but there is a lot of art, too.” Ellis, who started raising broilers for Peco Farms in 2008, turned to MSU’s Extension Service in 2013 when his evaporative cooling pads, which are essential in the summer heat, were not lasting as long as they should. With $30,000 worth of cooling pads around his six broiler houses, he was highly motivated to resolve the problem. “Normally, these pads should last eight or nine years, but mine needed to be replaced after just a couple of years,” Ellis said. “We knew it had to be an issue with the water. The solution was adding a gas chlorinator and chemical pump that injects apple cider vinegar into the water, which tested high in sodium and chloride before we treated it.” Ellis said he could see improvements in the pads and the birds after the adjustments to the water quality. “Feed conversions went down, and water consumption went up. Those are good signs for the birds,” Ellis said. “The cooling pads were cleaner, too.” Tabler said before adjusting the water, many of the feed nutrients were passing through the birds’ digestive system too quickly due to high sodium and chloride levels and a high pH in the water supply. The chemical pump and gas chlorinator that makes up the new water system improved the birds’ abilities to convert feed nutrients and improve growth and neutralized the damage being done to the cool cell pads. After addressing the water issue, Tabler and associate poultry professor Morgan Farnell turned their attention to other aspects of Ellis’ poultry operation, including lighting and litter. “Joe Ellis is one of those very progressive growers who are willing to try new things to improve management practices,” Tabler said. “We recommended that he switch to LED (light-emitting diode) lighting in his houses to see the difference it can make in energy use. While LEDs are much more expensive up front, the monthly costs are significantly lower. They can cut up to 80 percent off the energy use from light bulbs, and they last longer than traditional bulbs.” Additionally, Tabler and Farnell are gathering litter samples from the floors of 200 poultry houses across the state to be analyzed for nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, pH and moisture content. The results should provide a better understanding of the nutrient profile of Mississippi poultry litter today. The research, sponsored by the Mississippi Farm Bureau, is designed to test the amount of phosphorus in litter compared to samples from 20 years ago. Farm Bureau is working closely with the MSU poultry science department, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and all the poultry companies in the state to provide waste management assistance to the state’s poultry growers. “The numbers that the Department of Environmental Quality and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are using are from before the phytase enzyme was added to poultry feed to make phosphorus from grain more available to the bird and before high-available phosphorus grain sources were developed,” Farnell said. “We believe there will be a change in regulations based on these results. We are hoping we are on the right track regarding waste management issues. This is a big issue anywhere chickens are grown.” The Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, which is located at MSU, recently reduced the testing fee for poultry litter from $115 to $35 per sample. Mississippi growers are less likely to turn to out-of-state laboratories for these required annual tests. Farnell said MSU is committed to doing whatever it takes to help the state’s poultry industry, which is the state’s No. 1 agricultural commodity. MSU agricultural economists estimated the 2013 industry value at $2.7 billion, which is 10 percent more than in 2012 and 13 percent more than the five-year average.

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  • 2/18/14 - MSCL lowers price for chicken litter analysis

    MISSISSIPPI STATE - The more than 2,000 chicken growers in Mississippi can now save money on an annual test required to meet federal and state regulations and keep their samples in the state. The Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory has lowered its fee for testing chicken litter to $35 to be more in line with fees charged by labs in neighboring states. Many of the state's growers have been sending their samples to Louisiana and Arkansas. "The price reduction makes the Mississippi State Chemical Lab much more competitive and affordable for the state's poultry growers who need to have these tests run once a year, every year," said Tom Tabler, MSU Extension poultry specialist. "Now they can keep their samples within the state for the same price or less." Lab reports will include total nitrogen, potash or potassium, moisture, phosphoric acid and pH levels. Tabler said these test results will both satisfy state and federal regulations and provide needed information for selling litter to brokers. Growers should send a quart-sized sealable bag of litter to PO Box CR, Mississippi State, MS 39762 with a completed sample submission form. The usual turnaround time for test results is 30 days. Payment must be included with the sample unless prior arrangements are made with the lab to use a credit card or purchase order. For more information, contact the lab's Quality Assurance Manager Gale Hagood at 662-325-2955 or State Chemist Ashli Brown at 662-325-3428.

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  • 11/6/13 - Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Advisory Meeting

    Dr. Ashli Brown, State Chemist and Gale Hagood, Quality Manager meet with the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Advisory Council Meeting Wednesday, November 6, 2013. The Advisory Council participated in the AAVLD accreditation process as requested by the AAVLD audit team. Pictured with Dr. Brown is Mississippi State Senator Billy Hudson, also a council member. Senator Hudson is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and represents District 45.

  • 9/16/13 - Brown named new lab director, state chemist

    An accomplished Mississippi State researcher and administrator for the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory is taking the helm of that state agency housed on the land-grant institution’s campus.

    Ashli Brown has been named State Chemist and director of the MSCL, effective Oct. 1 and pending formal approval by the Mississippi Senate.

    Previously, she served as the MSCL’s director of research and agriculture forensics. The lab provides critical support to Mississippi agriculture -- the state’s No. 1 industry, generating approximately $7 billion in revenue in 2012, according to data from the MSU Extension Service. Additionally, agriculture employs nearly 30 percent of the state’s workforce directly or indirectly.

    “The lab’s work affects Mississippians throughout the state every day,” Brown said.

    Established in 1892 at the university -- then Mississippi A&M College -- the MSCL is a state regulatory agency. Offices are located in the Hand Chemical Laboratory Building.

    Working with the Mississippi departments of Agriculture and Commerce, of Health and of Marine Resources, the MSCL jointly develops, promulgates, modifies and enforces regulations, standards and specifications of animal feeds, food, fertilizers, gasoline, kerosene, diesel and antifreeze sold within the state’s borders. The agencies also provide analytical data to ensure the quality, accurate labeling of these materials.

    Other MSCL duties include research to promote the regulatory sciences, including a fellows program in which MSU faculty and students may collaborate on projects of mutual interest. (For more, visit

    Brown, a University of South Florida doctoral graduate, is a biochemist and molecular biologist with a research and teaching focus on aflatoxin -- a group of toxic compounds produced by some molds that can contaminate stored food supplies like animal feed and peanuts.

    Her research interests include physical biochemistry, enzymology, protein kinases, insect pheromones, and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

    She is on the faculty of MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and is also a scientist in the university's Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.