Soil testing for vegetable crops
20 Oct 2021
AG ADVICE - October 2021
Karen OMalley - Senior Land Services Officer, Horticulture and Plant Biosecurity
Soil amendment strategies can only be decided if the condition of the soil is known. A soil test is important for several reasons:
- to optimize crop production
- to protect the environment from contamination by runoff and leaching of excess fertilisers
- to aid in the diagnosis of plant health problems
- to save money and conserve energy by applying only the amount of fertiliser needed
Ensuring the soil’s biology levels and soil structure is the best it can be keeps the cost of using fertilisers as low as possible.
As no two paddocks will have identical soil related problems, each paddock will need a tailored soil management solution rather than following a rigid “catch all” prescription.
After understanding the baseline of your soil's health, a few of the corrective methods available to vegetable growers include:
- Adding organic matter through green manure crops and animal manure
- Adding gypsum to improve structural form and stability
- Adding lime to improve structure and adjust the pH
- Encouraging earthworms and soil biota to improve nutrient cycling
- Fine tuning nitrogen applications to limit soil acidification
- Avoiding waterlogging and losing dissolved nutrients by having an irrigation management plan
The 2021 AUSVEG Soil Wealth ICP project has developed a guide to help growers and agronomists interpret conventional ‘chemical’ soil tests and identify soil chemical constraints for commercial vegetable production in Australia.
This resource can be used to guide growers’ site-specific decisions on nutrition management.
AG ADVICE - February 2021Brett Littler - Senior Land Services Officer, LivestockWith autumn joining fast approaching for sheep and...
Tablelands Telegraph is our monthly e-newsletter providing you with a snapshot of news, projects and events across the Central Tab...
FARM tech bus tour - South
An opportunity for farmers to see technology being used by commercial farm businesses in the paddock. These farms are de...View event
1080/Pindone Accreditation - Bathurst
Persons wanting to use 1080 and other bait products need to hold current chemical accreditation.Central Tablelands Local...View event
While dry times come and go, nothing can fully prepare farmers for drought. Over the last few years, parts of NSW ha...
Marketing fundamentals for direct to market producers
From the Ground UpWe have partnered with marketing expert Kim V Goldsmith to deliver a series of resources for farme...