Recent farmer comparisons of soil health tests at differing labs are showing that despite analysis differences, health scores are more similar than one might expect judging from the national debate over soil methods. “If you look at any of these reports you are likely to draw similar conclusions” says Dr. Will Brinton of Woods End Labs. This finding is supported by at least two recently reported soil test project
When organic amendments such as manure or compost are soil applied it is difficult to predict response using ordinary soil tests. Several recent research projects have shed more light on intrinsic nutrient potential of natural fertilizers. The projects all employed Solvita tests including CO2-Burst and SLAN along with other conventional tests, and explored relationships to PMN and yields. Results clearly show that
To have robust soil health your soil must first meet certain criteria for microbial activity. You can be a marathoner but your exercise regime, rest schedule and nutrition has to be right to succeed. The same applies to microbial activity. The home of microbes is the soil environment which must be suitable for them to flourish. And the quality of specific components determines the integrity of this house. Discussi
I like the analogy of an engine when talking about soil health. What is the size of your soil engine? Have you checked lately? Just like you use a dynamometer to measure the horsepower on a tractor you can use Solvita soil respiration to measure the horsepower of your soil.
The Solvita SLAN test has been gaining steadily as word of mouth, research trials and farmer reports show that organic-bound Nitrogen – the kind revealed by the SLAN test- is of real practical significance.
Blogs provide an excellent opportunity to share information and ideas, discuss management practices and respond to questions from readers. In short – it is a place for a virtual agronomist, like myself to share information on soil health, i.e. what is it, how to measure it and how to manage it and discuss a host of other related topics and ideas.
In science it is often the case that increasing the sample size decreases the variance of the result, meaning large samples produce better estimates of content than do small samples. Soil laboratories use only a few grams of soil per sample for regular nutrient analyses, employing equipment that makes up for soil minutiae with low-level detection capability.
Italy to many, is the birthplace of farming with a soil nomenclature system dating from 500 AD. In the mere distance of Maine to North Carolina they have all four major soil temperature groups – frigid, mesic, thermic and hyperthermic and 4-times the soil unit diversity of the USA.
Interesting and potentially very valuable relationships between CO2 respiration and soil conditions have recently been revealed in a soil monitoring project using the Solvita basal CO2 test. At the Woods End Farm, staff take a soil sample each week and perform in-situ soil respiration (Solvita Basal), without processing the soil, thereby avoiding artifacts.