Despite of difficulties and challenges, soil lab testing is worthwhile. It may me time consuming, but soil testing worth your time and you have to determine which tests will give you complete analysis of soil health. Latest testing methods offer great soil health analyses. In lab testing, experts use different extraction methods to find the soil quality and to know how much healthy it is for growing crops. Few labs report their results in pounds/acre, while other report in parts/million and in elemental form of nutrients.
It is significant to collect the soil samples every year at the same time or adjusted accordingly. Using same lab and collection method, you can avail repeatable soil test results from year to year and notice the trends over many years. This will help in judging the health of soil in most desirable way.
The GPS technicians collect soil samples and perform in-field tests in order to determine the consistency of results over time. They take help of soil penetrometer, one of the soil testing equipment, to analyze subsurface and surface hardness. This technique helps them to measure bulk density, CO2 respiration, and water infiltration rates as it indicates the number or amount of living organisms present in the soil. To test and measure the ability of soil to prevent crusting, they conduct slake test.
Healthier soil yields more; however you need to put your efforts to enhance the soil health and it takes time. Sick soil may take years to improve and in some cases years turn into decades. What’s good is that people can look at soil health test results and determine the healthiest and poor quality soil within a field. Soil testing also helps in enhancing soil health in most cost-effective manner. For instance, a farm soil is very sick, the farmer can enhance its quality by selecting the correct acidity and soil density as these are the initial problems to fix.
Factors to consider to conduct soil testing-
1. Adhere to one lab
2.Separate your soil into management zones
3.Split some samples of soil and submit to the lab for testing
There is no harm to conduct Soil lab testing . It will help in determining the nutrients present inside the soil. It also helps farmers to work on unhealthy soil and make it fit for growing crops. This technique is highly useful in agriculture sector.