The productivity of agricultural systems is based on four pillars: climate, crops, cultivation techniques and soil.
From an agricultural point of view, the soil is more than a support and a reserve of water and nutrients for plants, therefore, it needs to be monitored through soil testing. It is a living system with complex interactions between minerals, living organisms, water, plants, and air. Therefore, healthy soil is essential to provide agricultural productivity and ecosystem services in a sustainable way. Soil testing represents an effective tool to control your health and thus obtain greater agricultural productivity. Soil testing can be carried out by laboratories
Primarily, soil tests report on the content of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), which are the most important nutrients for crops. Secondary nutrients to examine are calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), and magnesium (Mg). An extended test also includes minor elements like iron (Fe), manganese (Mg), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), and others.
Why is it important to test soil for nutrient levels?
Availability of correct amounts of nutrients at certain phenological stages is vital for plants. A nutrient imbalance like nitrogen deficiency severely impedes plant growth, while high concentrations cause plant wilting, fertilizer burns, or abnormal development. Soil is a complex system of interactions of chemical, biological and physical processes. These interactions must be balanced in order to grow and obtain high yields from cultivable plants.
Agricultural productivity and crop yields greatly depend on its nutritional contents. Some types of plants are very sensitive to harsh weather conditions. If we add poor quality, poor absorption of mineral elements, salinity, and its depletion, we can get an arsenal of diseases, whose fight may not even bring positive results. Generally, farmers determine the need for fertilizers visually. This method is undoubtedly not the most reliable since external signals can be confusing, and even an experienced expert can easily make mistakes. The lack or excess of one of the necessary elements can block the flow of other vital elements.
Soil testing include studies of the following characteristics:
Fertility (agrochemical, physicochemical, physical, and biological parameters)
Contamination with pathogens (nematodes, fungi, bacteria, viruses)
Contamination (pesticide residues, heavy metals, radionuclides, organic contaminants)
The type of soil test depends on the expected result. Each test is considered in order to identify certain parameters that may negatively or positively affect plant growth.
Chemical analysis. This test reflects the content of various elements and can show nutrient richness. It reveals the absorption capacity, the presence of heavy metals, the acidity level, and the need to use fertilizer(s). The methods can be different: photometric, chromatographic, gravimetric, among others.
This test is used to determine the concentration level of various chemicals that can affect crops, garden plants or the health status of farm animals.
Thanks to it, you can get data on the content of primary and secondary minerals, which make up the majority of the Earth (90-97%).
This test is used to detect the content of harmful substances such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and petroleum products.
This type of test is able to show the number of microorganisms that live in the soil: bacteria, fungus, algae, protozoa. After determining its density per gram of dry soil, we can determine the biological activity and its contents and the presence of pathogenic microorganisms that can cause diseases in plants.
However, soil analysis is the only method to determine the ability of soil to provide the nutrients that plants need before planting. It is also the easiest, most economical and most effective way to find out soil fertility. In addition, you will have the recommended quantities of correctives and fertilizers to increase plant productivity, consequently, obtain the best return on investments and increased profit.
We believe in science and want our farmers to appreciate the role farming science plays in improving crop yields. Any farmer can call us with questions, and we’ll be happy to help because we know that the future of farming depends on soil care, so analysis is becoming increasingly essential.
As we are interested and inspired by the success of farmers, we are at your disposal for any technical support needs.
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