Solvita – providing indicators of soil biological processes.
Soil biological forces are the cornerstone of productivity and stable yields – and Solvita® soil tests capture key biological, chemical and physical traits indicating healthy functioning.
A common feature of the soil-plant system is soil-dwelling organisms – bacteria, fungi, animals – expressing their activity and mass by metabolism – the consumption of litter and detritus and release of respired carbon as CO2. This is nature’s natural cycle. It is widely recognized that overall soil respiration is indicative of total soil biology and can be used effectively to monitor and evaluate changes in soil management practices. In addition, respiring organisms and plant roots contribute to broader soil properties. Solvita tests provide a capability to soil labs to easily and cost-effectively monitor these traits.
What Solvita soil tests are available?
Solvita offers a variety of ways to test your soil:
1. Field Test – Testing on the Farm for the Grower or Crop Consultant: Measure CO2 respiration in the field with the Solvita Field Test. This application is designed to evaluate fresh, relatively undisturbed soil that is not processed in a lab. This approach results in a “basal” respiration value that expresses natural soil metabolism under as-is moisture. The results provide a general indicator of soil biological activity and may be also represented as carbon dioxide emissions per surface area.
2. CO2 Burst Method – Standard Lab Protocol: Dried, 2mm sieved weighed samples of soil are moistened with a specific amount of water, triggering a flush or “burst” of carbon dioxide expressing soil’s microbial potential. The magnitude of the burst is quantified with the Solvita Digital Color Reader. CO2 Burst is proportional to microbial biomass but must be calibrated to each soil reagion.
3. SLAN Test – stored Organic Nitrogen: Use this Solvita test to measure the pool of stored soil nitrogen,- Labile Amino-N, which is relatively available in the course of a season. SLAN has been found to provide important insight into accumulated soil health factors – chiefly the favorable presence organic-fractions of nitrogen.
4. VAST – Volumetric Aggregate Stability Test: This new lab procedure is a benchmark for natural soil testing when it comes to expressing physio-biological traits. The water stability of soil aggregates is considered a highly desired trait in farm soils, but has been costly fro commercial labs to evaluate. VAST makes testing this key trait of soil quality a reality.
5. Comprehensive Health Toolbox – A New Way for Labs to Look at Soil: Many labs exploring healthy soil functioning have incorporated the Solvita CO2 into routine tests of Soil Health. CO2 respiration is only one part of healthy functioning, which includes measuring accumulated humus-N by the SLAN test and water stable aggregates by the VAST test. Woods End is able to show soil labs how to combine these tests with their own region-specific protocols to create a comprehensive soil fertility index that represents . To learn more, visit Woods End Laboratories.
Solvita tests are offered many commercial labs in the US, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Please see the Solvita Lab Map for a lab in your area. If your soil lab isn’t performing the CO2 Burst test, the Solvita Labile Amino Nitrogen test or VAST, ask them about it today. For more information call 800-451-0337. To order a Solvita soil test, visit our store.