SoilOptix® Blog

What is soil testing and why is it important? 

Did you know there are six major types of soil; sandy soil, clay soil, silt, peat, chalk, and loam? Each soil type is used for different purposes requiring soil testing services. Therefore, the soil layer goes through various tests and experiments. These tests are vital to ensure that the optimum soil quality is achieved from it.

What is soil testing?

A Soil test is conducted to determine different characteristics such as nutrient content, composition, acidity, pH level, etc. There are various purposes of soil testing as per the industry requirement.

For instance, in agriculture, soil testing is performed to analyze the moisture level in the soil, to check the possible contamination in soil, to optimize crop production, etc. Some soil tests are performed in the field and some in the labs.

The usual method involves the collection of sample soil in plastic bags or trays. Any waste or litter is separated from the sample soil. There are different methods for soil testing; Moisture content test, Atterberg limits test, Specific gravity of earth, Dry density of soil, and Compaction test, also called Proctor’s test. As per the industry requirement, the method varies.

Soil testing is critical in various sectors due to obvious reasons. In agriculture, 60% of crop yields depend on soil fertility. Hence, ensuring the soil is of good quality is equally important as other factors of farming.

Importance of Soil Testing

1. Identifies contaminated soils

The soil testing methods address farmers’ concerns and benefit the environment. Many factories, industries, and residential/commercial properties discharge harmful chemicals into the soil or water (which ultimately gets mixed with nearby soil). In such cases, the land loses fertility and becomes an environmental concern.

To avoid such scenarios, soil testing can be a great help. Also, many vast open areas are used to dump litter and plastic without proper garbage disposal. To prevent such lands from becoming infertile, soil testing can help. The procedure not only helps in identifying what contaminating elements are present in the soil but also helps in analyzing what measures should be taken.

2. Improves productivity of the soil

Before starting, farming involves a large amount of research. Right from weather to soil efficiency, everything needs to be tested to ensure the productivity of farms. A soil test lets the farmers understand what nutrients are already in the soil and how much extra is needed. It helps increase nutrient availability uniformity across the fields for more uniform crop growth. It also helps examine soil structure, texture, colour, and soil’s nutrient level and pH content. With the help of these test reports, farmers can decide what needs to be done to improve the soil quality in their farms.

3. Denotes the number of fertilizers to be used

Understanding the same deficiency in the soil can help farmers take the necessary measures. Fertilizers are used to provide additional nutrients to the plants, improve crop yield, and for the greening of lawns. There are inorganic fertilizers like potassium and phosphorus, which are minimal resources. Such fertilizers can be avoided if not needed by the soil. Which fertilizers to use and in which amount can be decided based on soil tests? It also prevents over-fertilization.

4. Helps in construction

Soil testing services determine the bearing capacity of the soil and also choose the structural stabilization of the soil. To avoid exposure to unknown dangers, soil testing is performed at the beginning of construction projects.

In Conclusion

Soil testing is a crucial part of many sectors. Since it involves various methods and types, we recommend hiring professional and expert soil testing service providers. The test results depict soil quality and hence should not be compromised by in-house soil testing. SoilOptix® has a dedicated team for soil testing with skilled and experienced professionals. For more details, click here