The goal of soil testing is to provide an accurate assessment of the soil's fertility to make fertilizer and input recommendations. With the increasing awareness of fertilizer effects on environmental quality, soil tests also can be used to determine how to treat your soil to ensure you get the best results from your farm budget.
Gain Knowledge about the soil condition and how to improve it
Fertile soils are necessary to grow healthy crops. To improve soil fertility, it needs to be measured first.
Soil fertility is determined by the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil. Properties such as soil texture, colour and structure are visible.
However, it is impossible to see the chemical composition of soil. This is what needs to be measured and why soil sampling is essential.
Soil tests are used to determine the nutrient content and pH level of a soil. With this information the exact type and quantity of fertiliser that needs to be applied to improve soil fertility can be defined, and you understand whether soil conditioning is required to correct soil pH issues, which are often the major constraint affecting plant growth, and therefore crop yield.
First step into soil fertility management
With a proper soil fertility management strategy, farmers can maximize the efficiency of nutrients and water use and improve their agricultural productivity.
Soil testing is the first step towards proper soil fertility management. Soil testing gives valuable information and helps you improve your soil’s health.
Minimise fertiliser expenditures
You will not waste money on unnecessary fertilisers if the exact type and quantity of fertilisers your soil and crops need is known.
Moreover, nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium are finite resources.
Their prices are increasing over the years and because this trend is set to last it is clever to adapt now to the inevitable changes. In this context you should be mindful that most fertilisers are not more than 40% effective is the soil pH is not right. That means that if you apply fertilisers without correcting soil pH, most of your budget is simply wasted.
Applying fertiliser without knowing the actual nutrient needs of your soil might lead to over-fertilisation.
By testing your soils and receiving fertiliser recommendations, you can avoid using an excessive amount of fertiliser.
This is better for your crops and the environment. Fertiliser burn and leaves turning yellow is the outcome of over-fertilisation for crops.
It might also result in nutrient leaching, water pollution and irreversible damages to the surrounding aquatic life.
Avoid Soil Degradation
Soil degradation is a threat to every farmer. It is estimated that each year 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost due to erosion which is a result of unbalanced soil management.
A proper soil management is guaranteed by soil tests followed by the application of the right fertilisers at the right moment.
Besides avoiding risks of soil degradation, it is a more efficient and financially more interesting practice. Moreover, soil restoration is a difficult, costly and time-consuming process.
To understand the importance of soil and why it important to have your soil tested before starting a farm kindly visit our website on www.demeterghana.com for more information.
Of course, soil testing comes at a cost. Our starter package for fertiliser testing is GHS 330. But when you look at the improved yield profiles from farmers who test their soil, the question is not the cost of the test, but whether you can afford not to test your soil?