Accurate soil tests allow small landholders to maximise the health of their soils and make sound decisions about fertiliser management to ensure crops and pastures are as productive as possible. Identifying potential soil limitations enables landholders to develop an action plan (such as an appropriate fertiliser program) to reduce the potential of ‘problem’ paddocks.
Soil test results are only as accurate as the samples taken from the paddock and how they are handled leading up to laboratory analysis. If the samples do not truly reflect the soils in a certain paddock the test results are likely to suggest an inaccurate picture of soil fertility. Sampling not only depends on how the sample is taken but when and where.
A reliable water supply is a precious resource. The water quality can be determined for bores, wells, creeks, rivers and farm dams. Common problems include hardness, iron and salinity. Once your water quality issues have been identified you can plan for water treatments to avoid problems caused by poor water quality.
It is important to identify and correct water quality problems that may affect on-farm use and productivity. Water sources can vary from season to season and need to be monitored routinely. You will notice any obvious changes or potential issues. If you have any doubts about the quality of water you intend to use for irrigation, stock or domestic purposes, you should grab a sample or ask East West to sample for you and get it tested.
Plant analysis is a good way to confirm your fertility management plan is working. Plant analysis can be used to evaluate new fertiliser placement and timing techniques. The information collected can then be used to make necessary adjustments to your fertility plans.
Total nutrient analysis can be determined on various plant parts, including whole plants, whole leaves and petioles. It is important to collect the correct plant part based on the stage of growth the crop is currently in. If you are unsure which plant part to collect or the amount of sample needed for analysis please contact us at East West.
Grain or seed, within any ‘batch’ (trailer load, store etc), can be defined in terms of moisture content, specific weight, varietal purity, protein content and many other characteristics. However, grains are not identical. The challenge in grain sampling is to gain a representative assessment of the characteristics of the bulk. If you are unsure how to collect the grain/seed or the amount of sample needed for analysis please contact us at East West.
Manure/Compost is an excellent source of many essential plant nutrients and, with proper management, can meet nearly all crop nutrient needs. Sampling manure/compost for analysis is an essential and valuable nutrient management tool for determining the nutrients available in these soil amendments.
Collecting a representative sample for analysis is the single most important factor affecting the accuracy of manure nutrient content. Obtaining a representative sample is also the most challenging aspect of the manure/compost sampling process. Keep in mind that the sample must represent the actual manure/compost being spread. Because only a small amount of manure/compost is sent to the laboratory for analysis, it is imperative that the sample represent the average composition of the manure/compost being applied. If you are unsure of the amount of sample needed for analysis please contact us at East West.
If you require agricultural sampling services please feel free to contact us.