Why Do We Need Soil Testing

soil-testing

Soil testing is for identifying nutrient contents in it. Testing of the soil ensures its health and yield level. When fertiliser is applied, soil testing assures that it is helping in multiplying the produce and its enrichment. For this, one pound of the sample of soil is to be sent to the laboratory. This sample would signify the testing of acres of such soil. A good sample is to be collected so that the result estimation rightfully provides the status of the soil.

A soil test provides on the information of nutrients the soil may not have. Laboratories have automated soil testing device which gives such detailed information. Different nutrient levels provide detailed information on what needs to be added as nutrients to the soil. The pH level of the soil identifies if there is a need for lime. Level of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium level has to be checked, to ensure that the crop needs, and yield goals can be achieved. If not, they may have to add fertilisers.

Magnesium and calcium levels are tested to check and maintain the pH level. If the pH level is less than 0.5, they are requested to add some lime. In the soil testing, one can also ask for recommendations on the level of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium required to be applied. They can ask for a report on the percent level of organic matter in the soil.

There are some pre-requisites to be fulfilled before the sample for testing is collected. One should divide the area into less than 20 acres of field for a sample to represent the entire field. One must collect 15-20 samples from each field, the samples which are from the same area are mixed and put in one bucket. Let the samples air-dry. Once all the samples are dried, they are ready to be put into the soil testing bag, as provided by the laboratory. Each sample should have the adjoined information, including its identification details, history and planned crops.

For many less informed farmers, soil testing is expensive, but in reality, it is affordable. There is a range of basic testing cost given per sample. These costs do vary depending upon the state and the lab from where the soil sample is collected. Soil testing laboratories also suggest submitting a sample of at least 20-acre increment for testing to be valid and more reliable. When the above measures are stood by, the cost of testing turns out negligible to the potential increase in profits, due to soil health enrichment.

Soil testing gives many benefits to farmers. When the soil sample is tested, the health of the soil improves with adequate measures taken. It leads to the growth of total crop production. It is optimal and beneficial for the farmers to get their field’s soil tested before the harvest season. It is because they can know about what their soil enrichment may need before the season arrives. The crop growth will be more uniform as the consistency of nutrients is available all across the field. The level of productivity and yield improve as checked by the soil density testing equipment. Hence, profitability increases as it ensures market quality standards.

Therefore, testing of soil will make farmers more confident about the health and quality of their crops.

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