SOIL TEST DESCRIPTIONS

List of Accredited and Non-Accredited Test Descriptions

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SOIL DESCRIPTION OF NUTRIENT TEST METHODS

TURNAROUND
(WORKING DAYS)

AMOUNT OF SAMPLE
(KG OR LITRES)
*Aluminium Extractable Based on Rayment & Lyons; 15G1 using ICP-07; extracted with 1:3 soil/1M potassium chloride solution for one hour. Extractable aluminium closely follows the pH of the soil and becomes a problem when the pH (water) is less than 5.5 (in soils which contain significant aluminium). 5 0.1
*Boron Extractable Based on Rayment & Lyons; 12C2 extracted with 1:2 soil/0.01M calcium chloride solution, refluxed for 10 minutes. Measured on ICP by ICP-05. Rayment & Lyons; 12C1 extracted with 1:2 soil/0.01M calcium chloride solution, refluxed for 10 minutes. Measured manually on UV Vis PMS-14. 5 0.1
Calcium Carbonate % Based on Rayment & Lyons; 19A1 5 0.1
*Carbon Organic Rayment & Lyons; 6B3; based on loss-on-ignition/combustion method. The carbon present in the soil is oxidised to carbon dioxide (CO2) by heating the soil to at least 900 °C in a flow of oxygen-containing gas that is free from carbon dioxide. 5 0.1
*Carbon Organic Rayment & Lyons; 6A1 based on Walkley-Black Organic carbon is measured by digestion in strong acid/dichromate solution and the colour development assessed against standard sucrose. 5 0.1
*Carbon Total Rayment & Lyons; 6B2b based on loss-on-ignition/combustion method. Carbon is the organic material in soil which improves moisture holding capacity, increases soil structural stability and protects soil from erosion. 5 0.1
Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio Carbon to nitrogen Ratio, Carbon:nitrogen ratio is used when making compost from organic material. 5 0.2
*Cations Exchangeable(K, Ca, Mg, Na) & ECEC Based on Rayment & Lyons; 15A1 and ICP-06. Of particular importance are the exchangeable cations (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and aluminium) and the cation exchange capacity. 1M NH4Cl at pH 7.0 - Used for neutral soils pH (H2O) between 6.5 and 8. Here, cations Ca, Mg, Na and K are measured by ICP-OES 5 0.1
Cations Soluble (Ca, Mg, Na) & SAR Based on in house method ICP-11. Sodium absorption ratio (SAR) also can be used as indication of soil sodicity; it shows the relation between soluble sodium and soluble divalent cations which can be used to predict the exchangeable sodium fraction of soil equilibrated with a given solution. 5 0.1
*CEC Cation Exchange Capacity inc. ex Cations Based on ECEC Rayment & Lyons; 15J1 (Extraction 15A1) using in house PMS-15A. ECEC the effective cation exchange capacity is a measure of the soils ability to hold cations. The sum of exchangeable bases plus total soil acidity at a specified pH value (usually 7 or 8). The unit is centimoles of charge per kilogram of exchanger (cmolc/kg). In surface soils the cation exchange capacity is associated with clay content, organic matter and type and retention of cations. The CEC in this procedure is calculated by adding the 5 cations and as such is the EFFECTIVE CEC. 5 0.1
CEC Cation Exchange Capacity with soluble salts, gypsum and lime wash inc. ex cations Based on Rayment & Lyons; 15J1 (Rayment & Lyons extraction 15A2). Soluble salts must be removed from soils with EC 1:5 > 30 dS/m by washing with glycol-ethanol. 5 0.1
*Chloride soluble Based on Rayment & Lyons; 5A1 using PMS-05. Extracted with 1:5 soil/water for one hour. Measured with ISE Probe. 5 0.1
*Conductivity
EC
Based on Rayment & Lyons; 3A1 using PMS-03. The electricity conductivity (EC) of the 1:5 soil/water suspension is measured and the results are expressed in decisiemens/metre (dS/m). 5 0.1

Conductivity ECe inc. texture

(Salinity)

By calculation using in house method PMS-32. The value for EC (1:5 soil/water) is converted to an estimated electrical conductivity of a saturation paste extract (ECe) by multiplying by a texture factor. 5 0.1
*ESP Exchangeable Sodium Percentage Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) ESP is used to indicate if soils have sodic properties ie: the cation exchange complex is saturated with too much sodium. Sodic soils are often dispersive with poor structural characteristics. 5 0.1
Free Lime or Fizz Index This method tests for the presence of carbonates in soil materials and is also may be known as the “fizz” test. The method is based on the reaction of HCl with soil carbonates and visual observation of gaseous loss of CO2 from the sample. Soils may be categorised as slightly reactive, moderately reactive or highly reactive. The method detection limit is approximately 0.2% CaCO3 equivalent (on a dry soil basis). 5 0.1
Heavy Metals Total or dissolved arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium and zinc. 5 0.1
Lime Index – Available Lime AS4489.6.1-1997 The available lime index of quicklime and hydrated lime designates those constituents that enter into the reaction under the conditions of this specified test method, otherwise known as the “rapid sugar test method”. 5 0.1
*Moisture Based on classical techniques AS1289.2.1.1 and in house PMS-17. Calculation and reporting of the results of soil analysis is done on basis of "oven-dry" soil. 5 0.1
Nitrogen Drawdown Index, Is a method for determining the Nitrogen Drawdown index (NDI) from the rate at which a potting mix or landscaping soil uses (draws down) soluble nitrogen based on Australian Standards 3743, 4419 and 4454. 5 0.5
*Nitrogen Total Based on Rayment & Lyons; 7A1 where total nitrogen is measured by Kjeldahl digestion of soil (copper sulphate-potassium sulphate catalyst). provides a good estimate of total soil N in soils with little NO3: otherwise slightly lower apparent total soil N concentrations are likely. The method initially involves semi-micro Kjeldahl digestion. 5 0.1
*Nitrogen Total Based on Rayment & Lyons; 7A5. LECO dumas. The nitrogen content of a soil is determined by heating to a temperature of at least 900 °C in the presence of oxygen gas. Mineral and organic nitrogen compounds are oxidised and/or volatilised. The combustion products are oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and molecular nitrogen (N2). After transforming all nitrogen forms into N2, the content of total nitrogen is measured using thermal conductivity. 5 0.1
Nitrogen-Ammonium Extractable Based on and in-house method PMS-22; using 1:10 ratio 2MKCL extraction. 5 0.1
*Nitrogen-Nitrate Extractable Based on UV-Vis using in house method PMS-08. This method uses the same 1:5 soil/water suspension described for method 3A1. The filtered or centrifuged aliquot is subjected to automated colorimetric analysis. 5 0.1
*pH (CaCl2)1:5 Based on Rayment & Lyons; 4B2 and PMS-0402; pH (calcium chloride) is measured in a 1:5 soil/0.01M calcium chloride suspension. pH (calcium chloride) is normally 0.5 - 1.2 units lower than pH (water) 5 0.1
*pH (H2O) 1:5 Based on Rayment & Lyons; 4A1 and PMS-0401; pH(water) is measured on a solution of 1 part soil to 5 parts water. Soil pH is a measure of soil acidity. Most crops grow best if the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.5. 5 0.1
*Phosphorus Bray No.1 Based on Rayment & Lyons; 9E1 Bray No.1 Extractable Phosphorus using in house method PMS-11. The Bray test tends to be more suitable for the North Coast’s acid soils. Because phosphorus tends to tie up with aluminium and iron and become unavailable to plants in acid soils, it is important to keep your pH at around 5 if your soil is to benefit from phosphorus. 5 0.1
Phosphorus BSES Based on Rayment & Lyons; 9G1 Acid Extractable Phosphorus. The Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations (BSES) phosphorous (P) tests have been increasingly adopted in the broad acre cropping section, and used in conjunction with Colwell P and Phosphate Buffering Index (PBI), to describe soil P status across the region. 5 0.1
*Phosphorus Buffer Index Based on Rayment & Lyons; 9I2A Phosphorus Buffer Index by UV-Vis using PMS-12. This test is a measure of the soil's ability to tie up phosphorus. PBI can assist in determining fertiliser requirements. 5 0.1
*Phosphorus Colwell Based on Rayment & Lyons; 9B1 Colwell Extractable phosphorus using PMS-10. A 1:100 soil/0.5M sodium bicarbonate extract is shaken for 16 hours and the phosphorus concentration determined by colourimetry. Bicarbonate P is measured by the method of Colwell (1963), viz. 1:100 soil:solution ratio, extractant is 0.5 M sodium bicarbonate (pH 8.50), 16 hours extraction at 23oC. 5 0.1
*Phosphorus Sorption Capacity Rayment & Lyons; 9I2A Phosphorus Sorption Capacity. This test is a measure of the soil's ability to tie up phosphorus. It can assist in determining fertiliser requirements. 5 0.1
*Phosphorus Total Based on Isaac and Johnson Digest, measured on ICP-OES using in-house method ICP-03. 5 0.1
Potassium Colwell Available Based on Rayment & Lyons 18A1, measured on ICP-OES. A 1:100 soil/0.5M sodium bicarbonate extract is shaken for 16 hours and the concentration of potassium is measured by ICP-OES. 7 0.1
*Sulphur extractable KCl-40 Based on Rayment & Lyons 10D1 and in-house method ICP-04 or in-house UV-Vis PMS-13. Soil sulphur is extracted with 0.25M potassium chloride heated at 40oC for 3 hours. The sulphur concentration is determined using an ICP spectrometer. The method used is from Rayment & Lyons; 10D1. 7 0.2
Trace (Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn)EDTA Extracted with 1:5 soil/0.02M EDTA (pH 4.9) for one hour. The analytes are determined by ICP or AAS. Measures plant-available forms of these elements. 7 0.2
*Trace (Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) DPTA Based on Rayment & Lyons 12A1 using ICP-08. Extracted using a 0.005 M DTPA, 0.01 M CaCl2 and 0.10 M triethanolamine solution. The analytes are determined by ICP. 7 0.2
Angle of Repose Assess the ability of a material to be retained on a slope. The size of the sample required depends on the average aggregate size of the material. Maximum size is 200mm aggregates. 5 1-40
Coefficient of Uniformity Calculation to assess particle uniformity from PSA. 5 0.5
Colour Munsell Identifies soil colour on the Munsell charts 5 0.1
Density
Bulk
Re-compacted
USGA Re-compaction method used. The mass of dry soil per unit volume of soil with units of g/cm3, mg/m3 or t/m3. The bulk volume is determined before drying to constant weight at 105°C. ASTMF 1815-97 7 1
Density
Bulk
Fixed Volume
Fixed volume method used. The mass of dry soil per unit volume of soil with units of g/cm3, mg/m3 or t/m3. The bulk volume is determined before drying to constant weight at 105°C.Intact core method 503.01 7 1
Density Bulk Clod Clod Method used. The mass of dry soil per unit volume of soil with units of g/cm3, mg/m3 or t/m3. The bulk volume is determined before drying to constant weight at 105°C. 7 Clods
Density Particle AS1289.3.5.1 5 0.5
Dispersion index This test observes the dispersion potential of soils on wetting and remoulding – NSW soil pack. 5 0.1
Dispersion Percentage This test measures the percentage at which a soil will disperse. Craze & Hamilton AS1289.c8.2 7 0.5
*EAT Emerson Aggregate Test is a measure of the stability of a soil aggregate through assessing its slaking and dispersion potential. AS1289.3.8.1 5 0.1
EAT Adjusted SAR 5 Emerson Aggregate Test with dispersion conducted in SAR 5 to assess the soils slaking and dispersion properties when exposed to effluent waters. AS1289.3.8.1 5 0.1
*Linear Shrinkage AS 1289.3.4.1 Determination of the linear shrinkage of a disturbed sample. 7 0.5
Porosity Total, air-filled & capillary porosity. ASTMF 1815-97 at 30cm tension. 7 0.5
PSA Particle Size Analysis Hydrometer Australian Standard for Agricultural Soils. Determinations of the distribution of particles in soil i.e. gravel, sands, silts and clay. 4 60g clay 130g sand
PSA Particle Size Analysis Hydrometer USGA Method ASTMD422-63 Determination of the distribution of particles in soil i.e. gravel, sands, silts and clay. 4 60g clay 130g sand
*PSA Particle Size Analysis Sieves only Australian Standard 1141-12 Determination of the distribution of particles in soil i.e. gravel, sands, silts and clay. 3 130g sand only
Particle Size Distribution Hydrometer Australian Standard AS1289.3.6.2 Determination of the distribution of particles in soil i.e. gravel, sands, silts and clay. 5 55g clay
Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity ASTM F 1815-97 Rate in mm/hr at 30cm tension that water passes through the saturated soil sample. 2 0.4
Soil Moisture Curve Five point soil moisture retention curve necessary for providing input data to numerical modelling required in any assessment of the suitability of soils for phytocapping landfills. ASTM Designation: D 5084 – 00e1. 15 2-4
Texture Based on a classical method using PMS-33. Soil texture is not readily subject to change, so it is considered a basic property of a soil. Soil texture refers to the size (diameter) of individual soil particles. McDonald et al. 5 0.1
Total Water Holding Capacity Determination of total water holding capacity under conditions resembling a home or nursery growing environment according to Australian Standard 3743. 5 1
Toxicity Determines whether the potting mix, landscaping soil or soil conditioner is sufficiently toxic to inhibit the growth of roots according to Australian Standards 3743, 4419 and 4454. 10 1
Wettability Determination of the wettability of potting mix, soil or soil conditioners according to AS 3743, 4419 and 4454. 5 1
Water retention Measures the capacity for a soil to store the maximum amount of water. ASTMF 1815-97 7 0.2
AS4419 Soil Landscaping pH(H2O), EC, NH4, Bulk Density, Organic Matter, Soluble PO4, texture, CEC, Fe, Cl, Wettability, NDI, Toxicity, Dispersibility, Permeability, Large particles, Heavy Metals(As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn) and Residues (organo-chlorines & PCB), TRH, BTEX and total phenol. 10 6
AS3743 Potting Mixes Air filled porosity, total water holding capacity, Wettability, pH, EC, Cl, ammonium-N, ammonium+nitrate-N, nitrogen drawdown index, toxicity, soluble P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, K/Mg ratio, Ca/Mg ratio, S, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn & B. Heavy Metals(As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn) and Residues (organo-chlorines & PCB) 10 6
AS4454 Composts Mulches and Soil
Conditioners
pH(H2O), EC, NH4, NO3, Total N, Bulk Density, Organic Matter/carbon, C/N ratio, Soluble PO4, Total P, B, Na %, Na, Ca, Mg, K CEC, DTPA Trace Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe & B, Wettability, Toxicity, NDI, Permeability, Particle Size Grading, Moisture Content, Visual Contaminants, Heavy Metals(As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn) and Residues (organo-chlorines & PCB) 10 6
Carbon Monitoring Suite Total Carbon, Organic Carbon, Bulk Density, Texture, Moisture. 10 2
A2 Chloride, pH (H2O & CaCl2), EC, Total N and Nitrate-N, Colwell P and K, Phosphorous Buffer Index (PBI), KCl-40 Available S, Ex Cations {K, Ca, Mg, Na & Al} ECEC, ESP, Ca/Mg, K/Mg, Organic Carbon 10 1
A3.2 pH (H2O & CaCl2), Conductivity, Available phosphorus, Total nitrogen, Organic carbon, Ex Cations {K, Ca, Mg, Na & Al}, ECEC, ESP, Total Cations {K, Ca, Mg, Na} 10 0.5
A3.9 pH (H2O & CaCl2), Conductivity, Total and available phosphorous, Total nitrogen, NH4, NH3, NO2, & NO3, 9 Metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, SE, Zn), Organo-chlorines & PCB’s 10 1
Soil Test Sports Field pH(H2O), EC, PSA Hydrometer, Porosity, Water Retention, Bulk Density USGA, Permeability (SHC), Particle Size Grading and Moisture Content, 7 1
S1 Full Test- E.C., pH(CaCl2), NO3-N, P, PBI, S, O, Carbon, Cu, Zn Mn, Fe, {K, Ca, Mg & Na} in ppm, Meq/100g & %, C. E. C. & Ca/Mg ratio. 7 0.2
S2 NPS Macro- E. C., pH(CaCl2), NO3-N, P, S {K, Ca, Mg & Na} in ppm, Meq/100g & %, C.E.C & Ca/Mg ratio. 7 0.2
S3 NPS Trace- E.C., pH(CaCl2), NO3-N, P, S, Cu, Zn, Mn & Fe. 7 0.2
S4 NPSK- E.C., pH(CaCl2), NO3-N, P, S & K. 7 0.2
S5 Basic Test- E.g.: E.C., pH(CaCl2), & NO3-N 7 0.2
VENM/ENM VENM/ENM validation. Complete analysis and report certificate. 10 6
Wastewater
Application
Modified wastewater: soil analysis for a single lot. 10 2
Wastewater Application Modified wastewater: soil analysis for a subdivision. 10 3
Wastewater Application Report for engineers on modified wastewater: soil analysis for a single lot or subdivision. 10 -
Heavy Metals Total or dissolved arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium and zinc. 5 0.1