Soil testing and Observation
Observing the soil and keeping records from year to year is the first step in managing your soils for sustainability and increased production. Soil testing allows us to observe chemical and physical attributes of the soil and compare them to known standards / benchmarks that have been developed over a long period of time.
A lot of the time, some simple observations can tell landholders quite a bit about their soils and what needs to be adjusted to improve them. To help with this process Natural Resources South East has developed a simple “Soil Health Check Card” that can help keep basic observations and records for comparison from year to year.
When planning Nutrition programs, making decisions around adding lime to fix acidity problems or adding gypsum to improve soil structure, there may be the need for more detailed analysis. This can be done at 2 levels - On farm or through Laboratory tests. Below are some factsheets on which test is best for you and then how to take a soil test.
How to Take a Soil Test
How to Interpret Soil Test Results