New soil testing from Eurofins Agro promises to help farmers and agronomists understand soil in a more detailed way than previously.
The tests have been launched to provide chemical, physical, and biological insight and are said to offer farmers a better way to monitor, manage and improve the health and fertility of their soil.
Dan Robinson, managing director, Eurofins Agro UK says: “Three new products are now available to UK and Irish agriculture. Fertilisation Manager, Soil Crop Monitor and Soil Life Monitor offer the most comprehensive way to analyse and improve soil health.”
Fertilisation Manager measures soil fertility. “This includes the chemical values of macro and micronutrients,” says Mr Robinson. “Soil pH and the overall structure of the soil is also analysed in conjunction with biological components such as fungi and bacteria,” he adds.
The microbial biomass from the sample will help farmers to understand the sensitivity of the soil to conventional farming methods such as ploughing. The number and nature of the bacteria present in a soil sample will also facilitate the accurate calculation of what nutrients need to be added to the soil to optimise plant health and growth, according to the company.
Soil Crop Monitor is said to offer an accurate means of testing soil during the growing season. “Soil Crop Monitor analyses both the soil and the plant. This measures the plant available nutrients and the nutrients absorbed by the crop,” says Mr Robinson.
Soil Life Monitor determines the total microbial biomass, fungi, bacteria and protozoa. It also identifies some physical characteristics such as pH and the quality of organic matter. “PLFA (phospholipid fatty acids) found in soil can be measured to provide a fingerprint of the soil content. PLFAs are degraded quickly in the soil, so the analysis gives an indication of the amount of living biomass,” explains Mr Robinson. “This is the most detailed routine analysis of soil life available and has countless applications for agriculture. We are therefore excited to make all of these tests available to farmers and growers across the UK and Ireland.”