Measuring for sustainability starts with an in depth analysis of soil.
All the activities related to agriculture revolves around soil as the primary resource. Soil is a living, breathing entity and the home of an extremely sensitive ecosystem with critical balances of microbiologically active diversity of species that contributes significantly to the nutritional requirements of plants.
Our analyses integrates this very important biological processes in our soil analyses.
We use a combination of the following two tests in our soil laboratory offering.
- The Solvita CO2 24 hour burst test. (Biology)
- The Aggregate stability test. (Physical test highly dependent on maintenance of the soil biology)
- This technology is the latest most practical as it provides a very good indication of the overall state of the soil health. (See picture of the Solvita result on 8 differently treated soils in the USA below)
- It differentiates between the organically bound nutrients and inorganic nutrients that is subject to leaching losses.
- This information together with the microbiological analyses provides a very good indication of the rate at which the organically bound nitrogen will be mineralized by microbial action.
- It provides an extremely good indication of the organically bound nitrogen and phosphate that can be taken into account in the next fertilizer requirements of the next crop.
- It becomes a very practical cost saving exercise particularly as far as nitrogen fertilizer is concerned and this cost saving can now actually be quantified in Rands and cents.
We used the Solvita tests in our Conservation Agriculture trials and were impressed with the results regarding the information on the Soil Microbiological activity as well as the Potential Mineralizable Nitrogen (PMN), which is very valuable information when determining your nitrogen application for the next crop.
Dr. Johann Strauss
Senior Researcher Sustainable Cropping Systems, Directorate Plant Sciences, Western Cape Department of Agriculture
It is becoming increasingly important to measure the soil health status of soil to provide farmers with practical results and information. The Solvita test can play an important measuring tool in this area. It gives a very good indication of the soil’s biological activity, as well as the organically bound nitrogen in your fertilizer.
Dr. Hendrik Smith
Bewaringslanbou Fasilliteerder, Grain SA