Systems for Citrus Health

Complete Soil Health Testing

Midwest Laboratories Soil Health Assessment The soil health assessment is done on a 0-6 inch sample. The soil health assessment is comprised of three components. The first piece of the soil health assessment is an in-depth soil analysis that will address the chemical aspects of the soil. This test package will include available phosphorus, exchangeable potassium, magnesium, calcium, and hydrogen, soil pH, cation exchange capacity, percent base saturation, organic matter, soluble salts, nitrate, and micronutrients. This part of the report will also include recommendations for application rates based on the chemical analysis of the soil, intended crop to be grown, and the target yield. The second component of the soil health assessment is the Solvita 1-day CO2C test. The Solvita soil respiration test measures the carbon dioxide being released by the soil microbes over a 24 hr period. This test is one of the most important numbers in the soil health assessment and is a measure of the microbial activity in the soil and is highly related to the fertility of your soil. In most cases, the higher the number, the more fertile the soil. Microbes exist in soil in great abundance. They are highly adaptable to their environment. Their composition, adaptability, and structure are a result of the environment they inhabit. They have adapted to the temperature, moisture levels, soil structure, crop and management inputs, as well as soil nutrient content in which they find themselves. In short, they are a product of their environment. They are highly adaptive and a dependable indicator of soil health. Since they are motivated by their need to reproduce and are driven by this need for acquiring carbon, nitrogen and phosphate in a ratio of 100:10:1 (C: N: P), it is clear that carbon is the driver of the soil nutrient-microbial recycling system. This consistent need sets the stage for a standardized measurement of their activity which is practically universal. Since soil microbes take in oxygen and release CO2, we can couple this mechanism to their activity. It follows that soil microbial activity is a response to the level of soil quality/fertility they find themselves in. The third component of the soil health assessment is commonly called the Haney test. This set of tests were developed by Rick Haney. The testing methods use green chemistry, in that water is used as a natural extractant. A H3A extract was developed by Haney that mimics organic acids produced by living plant roots. From this data a soil health calculation is generated. This number is calculated as 1-day CO2C divided by the organic C:N ratio plus water extractable organic carbon/100 + water extractable organic nitrogen/10 to include a weighted contribution of water extractable organic carbon and organic nitrogen. It represents the overall health of your soil system. It combines 5 independent measurements of your soil’s biological properties. The calculation looks at the balance of soil carbon and nitrogen and their relationship to microbial activity. A soil health calculation number can vary from 0 to over 50. We like to see this number increase over time. This number is about where your soil is now and what it needs to reach its highest sustainable state. Keeping track of this number will allow you to gauge the effects of your management practices over the years. Based on these three components we are able to determine additional nitrogen that is available in your soil that may be credited towards your fertility program.

OrangeRx Complete Soil Health Test via Midwest Labs


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