SOIL PROPERTIES AND IMPORTANCE OF SOIL TESTING

SOIL PROPERTIES AND IMPORTANCE OF SOIL TESTING
November 30, 2018 No Comments Blog admin

Mahadhan

Soil Properties & their significance

Physical Properties:

Soil Texture: Influences Water Holding Capacity, Nutrient Holding Capacity, Drainage & Aeration.

Desirable: Sandy Loam

Soil Structure: Influences Tilth, Ease of Manipulation, Water Infiltration & Drainage Rates, Air
Exchange. Desirable: Granular

Chemical Properties:

Soil pH: Single most important property that influences nutrient availability.
Desirable: 6.5 – 7.5

Soil E.C.: Influences Water Uptake by plants. Desirable: Less than 0.80 dS/m

Organic Carbon: Indicator of the Organic Matter content which exerts its positive influence across the entire spectrum of soil properties. Desirable: Greater than 0.41%

Calcium Carbonate: Influences pH and availability of Phosphorus, Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper & Boron. Desirable: Less than 5%

Soil Fertility: Capacity of Soil to supply essential nutrients to plants. The Soil supplies 13 of the 16 essential nutrients. Desirable: A individual Nutrient level of Medium and above, in the six-tier system

A brief look at the 16 Essential Plant Nutrients & their Bio-chemical Role

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTFORM UTILISED BY PLANTSBIO-CHEMICAL ROLE
Carbon, Hydrogen, OxygenCO2, H2OCombined in the process of Photosynthesis to form a Carbohydrate that becomes the physical structure / framework of the plant
Nitrogen, SulphurNO3, NH4+, SO42-Combine with carbohydrates to form amino acids & proteins that become involved in enzymatic processes
PhosphorusPO33-, H2PO4, HPO42-Involved in energy transfer reactions
Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, ChlorineK+, Ca2+, Mg2+, ClInvolved in maintaining osmotic potentials, membrane permeability & electro potentials and balancing anions
Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, MolybdenumFe2+/Fe3+, Mn2+, Zn2+, MoO42-Enable electron transport by valency change
BoronH3BO3, BO33-Involved in Carbohydrate reactions

Deviation from these normal / desirable traits results in an imbalanced soil.

How does one know, to what degree, a given soil is close to the ideal or desirable?

The answer unequivocally will be SOIL TESTING!

What is Soil Testing:

Soil Testing is a scientific process of subjecting a soil to various physical and chemical tests in a lab to study its suitability for growing crops and in the process estimate its production potential in terms of its physical, chemical & biological properties.

A Soil Test Report serves as an important management tool to mitigate production risks in agriculture. It recommends measures to be undertaken by a grower to correct deviations in the soil properties to facilitate creation of favourable conditions for a good crop growth & development aimed at getting the desired yield.

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Mahadhan SMARTEK