Soil test – what you need to know?
Many farmers who want to increase their harvest decide to examine their soil. Finding the components of soil provides a clear picture of its current condition. Such an analysis is a very crucial element of conscious agriculture because it shows what soil needs the most at a particular moment. The examination of soil makes it possible to select the most suitable fertilizer for a particular crop. But there is a set of frequent questions: how, where, when? You will find all of the answers in this article!
When to do a soil test?
Actually, it can be done at any time. Controlling the condition of soil and its elements allows to select properly the right fertilizer for a particular crop. It is therefore worthwhile to carry out such an analysis before sowing, preferably 1-2 months in advance. It is recommended to test the nitrogen content in spring and the rest of elements after harvest. Agrocares, a company specialising in producing the products that allow to test soil, recommends that such analyses should be carried out in three cases, as follows:
✔ A problem during the growing season
Occurrence of problems during the growing season may have very different causes. The most frequent ones are the weather condition as well as the lack of appropriate nutrients. The soil analysis is especially needed when large differences appear in growth of some parts of the field.
✔ Changing the crops
Different plants need different nutrients. Fertilizers are selected for a particular group of plants, so changing the type of a crop requires to acquire knowledge on richness of soil. It is only possible to supplement it with the specific components after learning the particular soil parameters.
✔ Controlling fertility
It is recommended to control soil fertility at least once every 2-3 years. This must be done at the same time of the year, as only then it is possible to compare the results from the previous years.
How to do a soil test?
Farmers have the opportunity to carry out the test in specialist institutions which analyse the samples taken or they can also test soil by themselves. Agrocares, the company mentioned above, created a scanner which shows the composition of soil in a matter of minutes. The results are automatically generated by the application on the phone and a report is created on their basis. The scanner is a very innovative solution that facilitates the whole process of the analysis.
A soil test carried out in laboratories provides a wider range of the analysis. A specialized centre established at the University of Agriculture in Cracow allows to learn a soil composition more accurately. Lab-in-a-box, a new technology that examines the samples, conducts the analysis of 21 parameters. All you have to do is just to take the soil samples and send them to the centre. The tests are currently carried out on the samples from all over Poland. The following infographic presents how to do it.
Where to do a soil test?
The tests are mostly carried out in district chemical and agricultural research laboratories. Recently, a modern Lab-in-a-box laboratory has been installed in Krakow, which enables to analyse 21 parameters. The duration of such an analysis is very short because it only takes 3 days. In comparison with other institutions where the waiting time for the results fluctuates between 2 and 3 weeks, Lab-in-a-box is an unrivalled competitor.
The samples should be sent by courier. Payment is made by a bank transfer; an invoice and a full report are sent to the indicated e-mail address.
The cost of a soil test?
The Lab-in-a-box Soil Testing Centre in Krakow conducts tests on the soil composition samples from all over Poland. The cost of the test is almost half as much as in other institutions which carry out the analysis and the time is almost 7 times shorter.
The soil testing methods
Blue Fifty in cooperation with AgroCares uses the method of sensors and spectrometry. This is an alternative to the wet chemistry laboratory.
Do you want to test your sample?
- Send it to the address:
Blue Fifty Polska Sp. z o. o.
31-429 Kraków, Poland
- or Call: +48 788 416 768 and learn more about Lab-in-a-box or the scanner.