Have you wondered if limestone in soil can affect a CO2-respiration test? Or, what the difference is in measuring soil respiration for 1-day “CO2-Burst” versus 3 or 7-days? Many of these questions are topics of a series of short, technical memos on the theme of Solvita testing prepared by Dr. Will Brinton and staff of Woods End Laboratories. While the memos are fairly scientific they are meant for a ge
Woods End Laboratories has announced the release of Solvita VAST (Volumetric Aggregate Stability Test), a rapid laboratory method for measuring water-stable soil aggregates. The new product was created to help soil labs complete the soil health test triangle, which evaluates physical in additon to biological and chemical components of the soil and typifies soil health testing. “The innovative Solvita VAST m
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.