Interesting Facts About Soil Testing And Assessment You May Not Know

The quality of your soil has a big impact on the success of your gardening and farming. By testing your soil, you can learn what nutrients it is lacking and take steps to improve its fertility. Soil testing and assessment can also help you avoid problems such as soil compaction, drainage issues, and soil salinity. In modern agriculture, soil sampling is the most important technique to address fertigation application and crop production. Without soil sampling, it is practically impossible to efficiently apply fertilizers to meet the group’s needs.

What is soil testing?

A process that analyzes such components as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper, and zinc to determine which nutrients are available in a sample of soil is known as soil testing. This process is an essential diagnostic tool for determining the nutrients needed for plant life.

What are the objectives of soil testing?

  • You can use soil analysis data to evaluate a natural compound value and the number of nutrients present in a given soil. 
  • Determine soil pH, salinity, and alkalinity, and then provide recommendations on the amount of fertilizer and manure needed based on soil test results and according to crop.
  • To safeguard soil erosion and conserve resources, in order to preserve soil fertility for several years. 
  • When crops are harvested, considerable amounts of nutrients are removed from the ground and rapidly lead to the loss of agricultural fertility in the soil. 
  • Hence, the soil should be tested. The suitability of the soil for the planned type of crop.
  • The significance of fertilizer use efficiency, crop needs, soil supply, and the contribution of manures are to be considered when developing a fertilization programme.
  • Time expended on the analysis of the inherent soil fertility status is necessary in finding and practicing the site-specific balanced nourishment plan to guarantee optimum productivity. 
  • To predict the chance of obtaining a successful response to fertilizers.

What are the benefits of soil testing?

  • Soil Analysis enables better fertilizer choices to increase farm productivity in the long term, such as soil erosion, soil infertility, and degraded lands. 
  • Reveals the amount of plant-available macro-nutrients in the soil and wherein the nutrients are in the soil profile.
  • Monitors the soil’s properties, including pH, electrical conductivity, and organic matter, to learn of substances that may limit high yields and profits.
  • Provides guidance on determining fertilizer rates, times, placement and products through—along with the soil’s health properties—variable rate application.
  • Supports fertilizing, fertilizing requirements, area, and product. 
  • The technology also provides a benefit to the farmer due to higher crop yields, lower operational costs and better environmental risk management. Also, it improves crop maturity and quality, increases tolerance to disease and pest damage, and promotes growth.

Why should farmers get their soil tested?

  • It informs the farmer of the soil’s current health and how to improve it Soil fertility is determined by the soil’s biological, chemical, and physical characteristics. Properties such as structure, texture, and color are visible to the eye; however, it is difficult to see its chemical composition. For this reason, there is the need for soil analysis and that is the reason soil sampling is necessary. Soil tests will reveal your soil’s pH level and nutrient content. 
  • Knowing the precise deficiency of soil will lead to zero waste of such farm inputs. The quantity and type of fertilizers of plants and soil need to be carried out in order to prevent farmers from spending money unnecessarily on excess fertilizer applications. The nutrients potassium and phosphorus that are part of inorganic fertilizers are quite rare. Their supply is finite but not extremely scarce; therefore, it is necessary to use fertilizer conservatively to forestall a potential shortfall of such nutrients.
  • Not knowing the exact and actual nutrient that fertilizer requires can cause overfertilisation. Overuse of fertilizer is potentially harmful to both the plant and the environment. Actually testing soil and receiving an appropriate fertilizer recommendation prevents farmers from applying too much fertilizer, which reduces the associated environmental damage. Overfertilisation may result in water pollution, nutrient leaching, and irreversible harm to aquatic life.

In summary, knowing the condition of the soil is very important for a farmer. Soil contains many nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium which are required for the growth of plants. Soil is a source of water for plants to grow. Soil is also a habitat for many microorganisms which play a vital role in the growth of plants. Soil testing helps us to choose the type of soil required for the crops.

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