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Soil Testing Services

We offer the following levels of soil tests.

Basic Soil + Sulphur (BSS)

An entry level soil test for users looking for a "basic" overview of the nutrient status of the soil. Parameters assessed include: pH (soil acidity), Olsen P (plant available phosphorus), Sulphate Sulphur (a key macro-nutrient necessary for plant growth), Cation Exchange Capacity or CEC (estimation of soils ability to store cations), Exchangeable Cations (estimation of plant available levels of Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium), Base Saturation (indication of proportion of CEC sites occupied by the exchangeable cations), Volume Weight (indication of soil density).

Soiltech (ST)

This test includes the parameters outlined in the BSS test as well as several significant additions, the most notable of which are an assessment of soil Organic Matter levels (a useful indicator of the soils capacity to release nutrients such as nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus) as organic material decomposes.

This test also includes Organic Sulphur, which gives a more reliable medium-long term indication of the soils ability to supply sulphur for plant growth cf with the Sulphate Sulphur test which can vary quite significantly throughout the year.

Another significant addition in this test is an estimation of soil levels of six of the most essential trace elements: Boron, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc and Cobalt. As nutrient levels of the macro-nutrients, pasture growth and animal productivity have all improved over the years, the soil trace element levels have become increasingly important as limiting factors for both good legume vigour and healthy livestock.

Soiltech Totals (STT)

This test incorporates the parameters assessed in the Soiltech test above but with several useful additions which make this test our most comprehensive soil test.

In additional to Olsen P, this test also assesses Resin P (an alternate estimation of plant available phosphorus, without some of the problems associated with the Olsen P test i.e. failure to assess phosphorus supplied by RPR fertiliser). It also determines P Retention or Anion Sorption Capacity (a measure of the soils ability to immobilise phosphorus) and Total P (total phosphorus). The four phosphorus tests in combination give a far better indication of phosphorus availability than Olsen P alone.

This tests also assesses the Total levels of many of the same nutrient parameters which were assessed earlier but then only for plant available levels. The Totals suite includes: Sulphur, Calcium, Molybdenum, Cobalt, Selenium, Copper and Cadmium. The assessment of these parameters adds further valuable information on the nutrient status and functioning of the soil tested.

Note: There are two different analytical methods available to determine trace element levels in the ST and STT tests. Clients can opt to use either an EDTA or a Mehlich 3 extraction.

Organic Soil Profile (OSP)

This test is an extra option that can be added to the above tests to help gain a better appreciation of soil biological function. Parameters tested include: Organic Matter, Total Carbon, Total Nitrogen, C/N Ratio, AMN/TN Ratio, Available N, Mineralisable N.

Other Tests

In addition to the tests listed, we also test for a range of other different soil parameters including:

Heavy Metal Suite
Multi-Residue Pesticide Screen (incl DDT)
Soil Hydro-carbons
Organic Phosphorus
Soluble Salts
Other Cations

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