Canada: Growers advised to ensure accurate soil test results and learn what to do with it

The phrase that advises us never to compare apples to oranges should be taken very seriously in relation to soil tests according to Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBAFA) in Canada. “A standard test will measure water pH, buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur, but you need to ensure a couple of things are in place for the results to be accurate and useful,” Toner explains. “You can also have a micro-nutrient analysis done, but these results are harder to relate back to the crop and it’s better to do a tissue analysis for that.” Soil organic matter can also be requested in order to track trends over time and assess the impact of manure, green manure and tillage. A useful publication, Soil Sampling – The Key to Effective Nutrient Management Planning also recommends keeping good records and maintaining a consistent sampling plan. Full article published on Spud Smart magazine