Soil test list

Our soil testing laboratories can undertake a range of soil analyses to assist you in determining the nutrient and trace element requirements of your soil. In addition, the laboratories can undertake specialist testing for heavy metal contamination.

We offer four soil test packages:

  1. Basic
  2. Grazing - the grazing test package provides general information and is usually quite sufficient in most grazing applications, however, if you know from previous testing that you only need to monitor phosphorus and sulfur levels then a basic package.
  3. Cropping - the cropping test package is a better choice for cropping and horticulture circumstances and also where more detail is required than in a grazing situation.
  4. Horticulture - the horticulture test package contains all the features in the cropping package, plus testing for the trace elements boron, zinc, chloride, copper and manganese. This package will be of most use to horticulturalists. If other trace elements are needed leaf/tissue analysis may be more appropriate than soil tests.

In cropping areas a deep nitrogen test may be required. This test requires special sampling and packaging for transportation to the laboratory. Please talk to your advisor or Customer Service before sending samples for deep nitrogen testing.

Test packages and inclusions

Basic

Grazing

Cropping

Horticulture

pH (CaCl2)

pH (CaCl2)

pH (CaCl2)

pH (CaCl2)

--

pH (water)

pH (water)

-

EC (water)

EC (water)

EC (water)

Available phosphorus (Colwell)

Available phosphorus (Colwell)

Available phosphorus (Colwell)

Available phosphorus (Colwell)

--

Phosphorus buffer index

Phosphorus buffer index

Available sulfur
(KCI40)

Available sulfur
(KCI40)

Available sulfur
(KCI40)

Available sulfur
(KCI40)

-

Exchangeable cations (Gillman & Sumpter)

Exchangeable cations (Gillman & Sumpter)

Exchangeable cations (Gillman & Sumpter)

--

Walkley & Black organic carbon

Walkley & Black organic carbon

---

Chloride

--

Total Nitrogen

Total Nitrogen

---

Extractable Boron

---

DTPA extractable Copper, Iron, Maganese & Zinc

Choosing the appropriate soil test package

To assist you in selecting the appropriate soil test package the table below describes the application of each test offered.

If you have not previously had soil tested we suggest you talk to your advisor, district agronomist, district horticulturist or phone our customer service unit on 02 6626 1103 to determine the most appropriate package for your needs. In addition to our soil test packages, over 50 types of soil tests are available on request. Please contact Customer Service for current prices.

Test

Application

Soil pH

pH is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. Soil pH can affect nutrient uptake.

Electrical conductivity

Electrical conductivity is an indirect measure of salinity. Many plants are affected by high soil salinity.

Available phosphorus

This test is useful in assessing the need to fertilise crops and pastures with phosphorus.

Phosphorus buffering index (PBI)

This test is a measure of the soil's ability to tie up phosphorus. It can assist in determining fertiliser requirements.

KCI extractable sulfate sulfur

Test used to determine sulfate availability in soils.

Exchangeable cations and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

The major exchangeable cations are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and aluminium. CEC is a major factor affecting soil structure, nutrient availability, soil pH and also the soil's response to fertiliser.

Organic carbon

Organic carbon is a measure of the organic matter level of a soil. This in turn is very important for soil structure and plant nutrient intake.

Chloride

Chloride is the most commonly occurring soluble anion in Australian soils. the importance of this anion in land-use assessment is due to its possible accumulation in soil profiles to levels that are detrimental to plant growth.

Total nitrogen

Total soil nitrogen provides an indication to the soil's long term nitrogen supplying capacity.

Boron, hot CaCl2 extractable

Test used to obtain an index of soil boron status for plant growth.

DTPA micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu)

Measures plant-available forms of these elements.

Other tests that may be required include:

TestApplication

Total carbon

Carbon is the organic material in soil which improves moisture holding capacity, increases soil structural stability and protects soil from erosion. Carbon:Nitrogen ratio is used when making compost from organic material.

Full ICP scan (AL, Ca, B, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn, As, Cd, P, Na, S, Co, Mo, V)

This test will assist in identifying any nutrient/metal deficiencies or toxicities in your soil or organic fertiliser. It is important to check for metals in organic fertilisers, particularly those sourced from human and animal waste.

Nutrient ICP scan (B, Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Zn)

A nutrient scan will assist in solving nutrient deficiency or toxicity problems that you may have with your soil or organic fertiliser.

Mineral nitrogen

Nitrogen requirements before planting a crop.