Soil Nutrient Analysis

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Soil Nutrient analysis is the process of applying laboratory procedures  to determine available nutrients in a soil sample. The accuracy of  Result is as the sample taken from a particular field.
The Ecofarms Grower Solutions includes among many other services offers soil health and fertility management programmes for farmers.  We provide an efficient, fast, and low-cost comprehensive soil nutrient analysis service in our laboratory. This analysis is then used to advise Farmers in a more conclusive and precise soil nutrient management for their farm.
Soil testing refers to various analysis carried out on Soil for a number of reason’s.  The most prevalent which is to estimate the available concentrations of plant nutrients, so as to be able to recommend the fertilizer choices, dosage,  and mode of application that would be best for a specific farming operation. It involves taking soil samples and using  these samples to determine the concentration of plant nutrients available in the soil. The analysis result is able to guide  our field nutrient advisers on which nutrients are lacking, which are abundant, and  how best to replenish  them.  This provides a more professional nutrient management practice, rather than the blind assumption approach. It can be likened to performing a medical test, rather than blindly treating an assumed illness. 
Furthermore, essential soil nutrient parameters such as the soil pH levels,  soil organic matter content, possible heavy metals and contaminants can be measured. Such results  can be used to determine how potentially profitable a field can be. Soil nutrient analysis  is essential,  as it provides enormous benefits to modern agriculture. With rising cost of energy and inputs, Farmers do not have the luxury of wasting any resources.  Importantly,  also growing environmental concerns further makes it imperative that precise quantities of inputs are used to limit excessive  and abusive  use. A soil test gives you the precise data to make an informed decision in your field. 


How To Collect Soil Samples for Comprehensive Soil Nutrient Analysis .

Soil nutrient analysis is key for adopting a sustainable soil health and fertility management system for your farm operation, to guarantee an increased crop yield, minimize losses from input cost and poor yields. An accurate field sampling is a critical protocol to guarantee the accuracy of the soil nutrient test results, and ultimately recommendations are based on submitted samples.  The Ecofarms  has two sampling  protocols:

a.) Our trained field agents can collect direct samples from your fields, 
b.) Farmer’s can be guided to help collect samples and submit to our laboratory. 

Selecting Field Sampling Areas.

We recommend a randomised sampling pattern of 3 samples per hectare. For fields less than a hectare, we recommend 2 randomised samples. When collecting first scout the field to study the topography of the field. Sampling should be spread around a uniform topography, soil type slope and drainage. Importantly, this operation should be repeated for each hectare or unit field.

Sampling Depth.

Sampling depth is an essential procedure for collecting soil samples. This is because, individual crops have different root systems. Furthermore, tillage practice and nutrient movement within the soil can vary and this greatly influences the availability of various nutrients across the soil profile. Overall the topsoil zone of about 0-30cm is where active biotic and abiotic soil activities takes place. In such fields it could be less or more , as no two fields are the same. For conventional cash crops, we recommend depths of about 20-30cm, for tree crops we recommend 25-50cm.

Soil Sampling Procedure.

Walk in a zig-zag manner across your field targeting a uniform distance from the base to the centre, and to the end of the field either in hectares, acres, or plots depending on the field size. Remember your target is to collect uniform soil samples of about 250g each from the field. Label each bag with the following details after filling the bags with the soil sample. Sample name or ID( e.g Hectare 1,sample a., Hectare 1, sample b., Hectare 1, sample c. or Field A sample 1, Field A sample 2, field A sample 3, Field B sample 1, Field B sample 2, Field B sample 3,Respectively). Sample depth, Ensure the sample submission form contains the date samples were collected, location and crops to be grown on the field.

How to Collect Soil Samples from Your Field.

Equipments you Will Need.

a.) Sampling bags/containers (we recommend ziploc bag’s or small white transparent nylon bag-used for moi-moi).
b.) Shovel/Hoe/Cutlass/Auger (to excavate and collect samples).
c.) Bowl/Bucket/ Container to hold samples. 
d.)Masking tap (to tag samples).
e.) Marker/Pen (to label samples).
f.) Gloves.
g.) Sample submission form (kindly request  from us).

Caution /Sample Handling.

a.) Ensure tools used to collect samples have no rust, are clean and free from previous debris. Such can contaminat your samples. 
b.) Avoid taking samples from areas of the field with heaps of compost, fertilizer storage etc. They can influence  true results. 
c.) Start digging by gently clearing the topsoil surface of all debris  and washed sand.
d.) Moist soil samples should be air dried under a shade before sending to the laboratory. 
e.) Ensure all collected samples arrive the laboratory as soon as possible. We recommend a standard 3 day period top.
Image of soil samples taken for testing


Our laboratory analyse complete micro and macro plant nutrients, total percentage Nitrogen, Organic matter content in soil samples. Based on the results we then discourse with you to further understand your field history. Nutrient management recommendations are then made to  help you optimise yields.
For Farmer’s who are looking to invest in a long term soil health and fertility management plan, we attach a field adviser who will regularly communicate and where possible,  visit the field to audit soils and advice on additional soil health and fertility practices. This may include crop scheduling, rotation, organic matter enrichment, fertiliser recommendation and scheduling, green manure. Get in touch with us today to discuss your field sampling schedule.