SoilOptix® Blog

Digital Soil Testers and pH Meters – Using the Best Tools to Grow Healthy Crops

Finding the right technology solution that farmers can use as an accurate and reliable digital soil tester in the USA can be challenging, but crucial to grow healthy and sustainable crops. A simple pH measurement offers a wide array of information about the plant’s health and growth potential. There are a wide variety of these digital soil pH tester technologies, ranging from small handheld devices to larger, field-based sensors, and it’s important to find the right solution for your farm. But first, let us explore why digital soil testers in the USA are so crucial for agriculture and horticulture.

The Different Soil Components:

The three main components of soil include:

  • Inorganic materials like water and minerals
  • Organic materials like the broken-down remains of animals and plants
  • Micro-organisms residing in soils that help in the breakdown of the organic materials.

Soil composition varies between different locations because of different factors like topography, climate, geology, organisms, time, and usage that affect soil composition. pH is the measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. The pH scale ranges from zero to 14. Zero to 6 is considered to be acidic, while pH 7 is neutral, and pH 8 to 14 is considered to be alkaline. The ideal pH range for individual plant species varies. However, most plants thrive somewhere in the pH 5 to 7 field.

digital soil testers in the USA

Source: Freepik

Role of Soil pH:

Soil pH has a crucial role in the absorption and use of different trace elements crucial for plant growth. Testing pH is vital because of the following reasons:

  • Determining the pH will determine whether the alkalinity or acidity of the soil is suitable for a particular crop or a plant. If the soil is not within the best pH range, the necessary nutrients shall not be available for the plants. This will result in slow growth and lesser yields.
  • The soil pH meter will help in deciding the fertilizers or the soil pH adjusters that you need for the plants to thrive.
  • Surveying the soils in the region or plot can help in determining what plants are ideally suited for the area.

It is always recommended to get your soil tested, and one of the most important and informative tests is the pH test.

Digital Soil pH Meter:

There are different pH meters available. One option is a probe technology, where the probe is inserted into the soil water and the pH is read directly from the display. For getting a more detailed understanding of your fields pH and its spatial variability across your field, soil mapping offers this in-depth analysis.

As we already mentioned above, 7 is neutral, which means it is neither acidic nor alkaline. However, what most people don’t know is, the pH is measured on a logarithmic scale. This means, a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than the pH of 6. In simple terms, a pH change of 1 unit is an acidity change of 1 unit is an acidity change of 10.

Now, why should you care whether it is logarithmic or not? The reason is a small change in the pH number is a large change in acidity. Unless the pH is measured to at least one decimal point, the value is of limited use.

Testing Soil pH Through Laboratory:

One of the best options is to get an accurate soil pH test done by a professional lab. Coupling this lab analysis with sensor technologies provides even more of a granular image of the pH levels of your field. It is imperative to know the pH of the soil accurately. Therefore, you must choose the best digital soil testers in the USA for soil growth because it influences nutrient availability. Different types of pH testers for soil offer other benefits. The chemical tests and the test strips offer simple and colored testing. The digital soil pH testers provide more precise measurements and advanced features.

It is crucial to opt for regular maintenance of the soil and ensure optimal plant health. Testing every few years or more frequently is recommended. Adjusting the pH is possible with different materials like sulfur or lime, but it takes time to affect the change. Soil pH affects the availability of crucial nutrients within the soil because it directly impacts how well the plants can use them.

To ensure optimal soil nutrition, you have to be aware of the soil pH. Contact the experts at SoilOptix® to learn how you can get detailed, accurate pH measurements of your field, enabling you to make the best decisions to drive higher yields and profitability. Visit - to learn more.