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Soil Testing/Analysis & Soil Nitrogen Analysis

A soil test is the analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient content, composition and other characteristics, including contaminants. Tests are usually performed to measure fertility and indicate deficiencies that need to be remedied. Soil testing can be an easy, cost effective way to manage soils. It shows key nutrient levels, as well as pH levels, so the producer can make the best choice when purchasing fertilisers and other nutrients.

The partnership can offer a range of soil analysis options for farmers, ranging from basic through to very specific tests for N content; the main tests are outlined below: 


Basic soil analysis:

Phosphate (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), pH, Lime requirement

Broad Spectrum Analysis: 
Phosphate (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), pH, Calcium (Ca), Sulphur (S), Sodium (Na), Manganese (Mn), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Zinc (ZN), Molybdenum (Mo), Boron (B), Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Lime requirement

Soil Mineral Nitrogen (SMN): 
SMN can have a bigger effect on crop growth, yields and quality than any other nutrient. Nitrogen can be supplied from the soil, atmosphere, organic manures and crop residue as well as from fertilisers; it can also be lost by leaching, ammonia volatilisation and denitrification.

SMN analysis looks at NH4 and NO3 and is calculated on a dry matter basis. From these results the grower can then calculate the kg/ha requirements for the crop. Matching N supply from the soil plus nutrient additions from slurry and manure with crop requirement helps to minimise the losses to the environment and also reduce the reliance placed upon inorganic fertilisers.

N-Min: 
Is the only Nitrogen test that measures both Soil Mineral Nitrogen and the Additional Available Nitrogen to give a Total Nitrogen measurement of what will be available to the crop during the growing season.

N-Calc: 
Uses the N-Min result to assess Soil Nitrogen Supply (SNS) more accurately. With the farmer's yield and quality expectations it will calculate the optimum Nitrogen fertiliser rate for cereals and OSR.

SNS = Crop N + Soil N
N-Calc recommendations will:

  • Ensure a farmer's yield & quality aspirations are met

  • Allow changes in economic circumstances to be accounted for Minimise the environmental impact of crop production

  • Ensure that every £ spent on Nitrogen is well spent
     

soil_testing This technique has been developed by Growhow, more details can be found on their website: www.cffertilisers.co.uk

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