The quality of the crop is critically dependent on the soil condition. Therefore, its testing is an essential part of agriculture. With it, farmers can ensure optimal plant nutrition, understand whether the use of certain fertilizers contributes to the production, etc. This article explains soil testing and what industries it plays a vital role in.
What Is Soil Testing
A ground analysis is a set of operations for determining the soil properties and composition. Usually, experts distinguish the following types of analyses:
- mechanical (to specify the number of particles contained in the soil, such as clay and sand);
- chemical (to determine which specific elements are contained in the soil);
- mineralogical (for determination of primary and secondary minerals);
- microbiological (to characterize soil microflora).
For effective testing, you need to know how to choose the analysis type and be able to interpret the results.
In agriculture, about 60% of the yield depends on the quality of the soil. Therefore, farmers pay special attention to soil testing before sowing. Some studies are carried out in the field, others in laboratories.
Soil conditions are affected by many external factors, such as precipitation. Therefore, the most optimal time for agricultural soil testing is the period before sowing. So, farmers will get more chances that the research results will reflect the actual state of the soil at the time of planting. It is generally recommended to carry out an in-depth analysis annually. Depth varies from 10-60 cm to 0-60 cm (unless shallow tests have been performed). In this case, you will be able to monitor the current concentration of nitrogen and sulfur, which is critical for plant nutrition.
Soil Moisture Testing
Water is an essential resource for a crop, so soil moisture testing is one of agriculture’s most standard soil tests. It demonstrates water availability for plants, so monitoring field moisture during the whole season is crucial. A typical farm soil testing would be the evaporation of moisture at high temperatures. Modern technologies provide farmers with even more opportunities. So, EOS Crop Monitoring allows farmers to remotely inspect the soil moisture level. Moreover, growers can use historical data to analyze soil changes over several years and predict future water levels. The platform also helps to identify areas that require special attention.
Timely soil test reduces economic and environmental risks throughout the agro-industrial complex:
- resource providers can estimate the actual demand for their products;
- insurance companies can analyze damage claims;
- banks receive information about the expediency of granting loans.
EOS Crop Monitoring is helpful for all these cases. Vegetation maps provide information about the presence of critical zones, after which the scouts can collect the information required for the report. Using additional historical data, manufacturers can analyze changes in the situation over a long period.
Soil testing plays a vital role in construction as well. The earth must withstand the building’s weight, and therefore, before starting work, it is critical to conduct a thorough analysis. Experts evaluate the suitability of the soil to bear structures. Also, the various earth layers’ states may differ; weather and climate change affect the variability of ground characteristics as well. The pre-construction soil testing type should be made based on expert analysis. At the same time, testing soil will make it possible to secure building production and further exploitation.
Medicine And Cosmetics
Few people know, but the soil is used to create antibiotics because it contains dangerous microbes for bacteria. So, fragments of the earth are used to produce antitumor and anti-tuberculosis drugs, as well as skin ointments. Sampling the soil to ensure it is free of hazardous elements and suitable for making medicines. The situation is similar to cosmetics. Manufacturers use ground for blush and foundation, testing each soil sample with a high clay content for the absence of elements harmful to human health.
A soil health test is also good for the environment. Thanks to it, growers observe the optimal proportions of applied fertilizers. It also contributes to the enrichment of nutrients directly to the earth, increasing the time of its exploitation and reducing the need for cultivating new plots.