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Soil Analysis

Farmers submit soil samples for laboratory testing for two main reasons:

  1. Establish the available minerals present in the soil. This will enable the farmer and his adviser to determine the most appropriate fertiliser regime for the crop being grown, whether arable or forage.
  2. Compliance with regulatory requirements.  These evolve from EU Directives that specify criteria such as pH value,  Phosphorus Index and Organic Matter content.


FBA Laboratories offer a wide range of soil analyses. The most commonly used analytical packages are:

SR2

Applies to both forage and arable land area.  Samples are analysed for pH, Lime Requirement, Phosphorus and Potassium.  The analysis report gives P and K values and indices, plus fertiliser guidelines for grazing, silage, maize and cereals.

SR3

Applies mainly to arable crops.  Samples are analysed for pH, Lime Requirement, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Boron. The Analytical Report gives P and K values and indices, plus fertiliser guidelines for grazing, silage, cereals, maize, beet, potatoes, and oil seed rape.

ORGANIC MATTER

For soils in continuous tillage (6 or more years) there is a cross compliance requirement under GAEC standards to monitor the organic matter content.  Remedial action must be carried out if the organic matter content is less than the threshold value of 3.4% . It is required that at least 50% of continuous tillage land is analysed by the end of 2010, and that 100% is completed by the end of 2011.

HEAVY METALS

When sludges and compost-type material of non-farmyard origin are being applied to agricultural land, it is necessary to analyse the soil for heavy metal content. The metals that need to be measured are Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Nickel and Zinc

Download the Soil Analysis Log Sheet.