Soil testing and observation
Observing soil and keeping records from year to year is the first step in managing your soils for sustainability and increased production. 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.
To help with this process we have developed a simple “Soil Health Check Card” to help keep basic observations and records for comparison.
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 two 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.