General Principles of Soil Analysis and Soil Testing

Fertilizer nutrient use efficiency by field crops depends on very reliable and economic fertilizer recommendations. The knowledge of the number of soil reserves of plant nutrients ensures that adequate amounts of the nutrients are added to the soil for maximum crop yields.

Recommendations are based on experimental work which includes soil analysis, plant analysis, and soil testing programs. Blanket fertilizer recommendations must be avoided.

Purpose of Soil Analysis

Generally done to predict the behavior of the soil when put into various uses – cropping, road construction, and so on. That is, evaluation of soil productivity is achieved.

The analysis may be to discover its origin, its composition (constituents), or the effect of changing environment.

Routine soil analysis is useful for advisory purposes. Prediction of the probability of getting a profitable response to fertilizer application.

Analysis may be for the purpose of research, whereby the analysis is specific.

In a soil survey, the analysis may be to classify soils i.e. grouping soils into classes for the purpose of fertilizer and lime recommendation. Data provide guides for plant nutrient recommendations.

Chemical soil analysis investigates the capacity of the soil as a medium for plant growth. However, other factors such as climate, microbiological conditions, structure, and other physical properties affect plant growth.

The determination of specific soil conditions that may be improved by the addition of amendments or cultural practices.

To develop appropriate methods for estimating the availability of a particular nutrient. Detecting plant nutrient uptake and responses to various cultural treatments.

Read Also: The Procedures of Soil Survey (Soil surveying)

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Benadine Nonye

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