Accurate Soil Sampling and Comprehensive Analysis
Guessing what fertilisers need to go on your farm to maximise production is not an option. Generally speaking, soil is the largest and most contributing asset of any farm so we need to understand it, and manage it. The better we can do this, the better the soil will provide well into the future.
- Taking short soil plugs is also not going to provide a good enough indication of the nutrient profile for determining what is available and what nutrients need to be applied.
- Applying too much of any one product year after year is also not going to help maximise essential nutrient plant uptake, again the 'whole' balancing of nutrients must be considered, a shortage of one will limit the potential of those available and the same applies to overloading the soil with a product i.e. it will limit the ability of other nutrients to work effectively. It is an absolute science, and thats where we differentiate, our results are the proof.
- Not considering Lime (calcium) as part of a recommendation when it is depleated is not sound, an acceptable calcium level is key to other nutrients delivering their payload to the plant efficiently.
Taking accurate and long enough soil plugs for pasture or tilled ground is essential, having these samples analysed comprehensively (not basically) is key to implementing a plan to correct any imbalances, it helps us:
- See what is there and what nutrients and traces are and aren't available
- Identify what nutrients (eg P) are locked up so we can help unlock them
- Take action if heavy metals such as aluminium or cadmium show toxic levels
- Understand what nutrients are not in balance as there are rules to balancing soil nutrients, e.g. too much of one can reduce another or no sign of a specific trace can have a dramatic (negative) impact on productive capability and the availability of certain nutrients to plants.
- Determine what fertilisers must be applied to support plant production
- To limit nutrient loss and meet sustainable management and environmental targets
With an extensive and detailed soil analysis report that is scientifically and mathmatically analysed, a thorough fertiliser recommendation can be prepared and a plan implemented to correct or maintain the status of your soil. Our recommedations show us where we need to get your soils to and year after year we compare progress by reviewing your reports. We certainly don't compare your results with the rest of New Zealand. Every farm is unique, meaning we don't apply the same remedy to each farm at Landco, thats why just about every blend we do is different.
- an independent fertiliser recommendation ensures we are neutral with fertiliser requirements and supports the fact the Landco manages soil and plant health before selling fertiliser.
- we make a difference by doing things the way we do and using the processes we have adopted, that's what matters!
Considering Soil Condition
There are various ways to help dertermine the condition of your soil inbetween soil tests;
- looking at what is growing e.g. the colour of pasture or a crop leaf, are there too many weeds?
- Seeing large cracks in the soil can represent a nutrent deficiency
- digging a hole,
- is there phyiscal life e.g. worms, bugs etc?
- is the soil bound together or does it break up easily, is it friable?
- is root length good with multiple strands?
- smelling it,
- is it sweet or sour (anaerobic) or neither
- squeezing it,
- is it dry with no life?
- is it too wet and saturated?
- Walking on it
- is it hard and unforgiving or soft and airy?
- What isn't being eaten by stock?
- urine patches, are they not being eaten for 1-3 rounds
- Stock contentness
- are stock always eating with little lay-down (cud-chewing) time
- Stock health
- is condition poor
- is scouring normal
- is drenching ongoing
These signs all help determine soil health, your Landco Fertiliser rep can assist with answers.