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Water infiltration test

What is water infiltration?
Infiltration is the process of water entering the soil. When the soil is in good health or good condition, it has stable structure and continuous pores to the surface. Soil porosity is very important to infiltration. The number, length and size of pores determines water movement and retention. Large pores are responsible for the majority of water flowing through a soil. Water infiltration is also affected by other soil factors such as texture, slope, compaction, soil aggregation and structure. Soil structure can control water infiltration. Unstable soil aggregates disintegrate when wet, and release small clay particles that clog pores. Compacted soils restrict water movement into deeper subsoil layers where water is stored for plant use.

Why is water infiltration important?

Soil with good infiltration has little surface runoff and resists erosion. Good infiltration means the soil dries out and warms up quickly after heavy rains.
When there is good infiltration of water into the soil due to proper management, the soil can capture as much as allowed by the specific soil type. This will, in turn, increase the water holding capacity of the soil, which allows for adequate moisture for plant use longer into and during the growing season.
Increased surface runoff can carry soil particles, surface applied fertilizers and pesticides off the field.
 

Compaction analysis

What is compacted soil?
Soil compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing the pore space between them. Compaction occurs when farm machinery or human traffic repeatedly passes over the same area of soil. The weight of the equipment, the number of trips across the field, and the type of soil determine the degree of compaction.

Why is compaction important?

Compaction restricts rooting depth, decreases pore size and affects the activity of soil organisms by decreasing the rate of decomposition of soil organic matter and subsequent release of nutrients.
Soil compaction greatly decreases infiltration and thus increases runoff and the hazard of water erosion.
The reduced pore space that results from compaction limits the ability of earthworms and other organisms to live in the soil.

Tilth and structure analysis

What is soil structure and tilth?
Soil structure is the way the solid particles in a soil are held together. It is the naturally occurring arrangement of soil particles into secondary units. Soil porosity is maintained, in part, by soils having a good granular or crumb structure. Granular and/or crumb structure allows the free movement of air, water, plant roots, and organisms throughout the soil. Soils that lack this kind of structure often lack good porosity. If the individual soil crumbs break into powder easily, the soil is said to have poor aggregate stability. If the crumbs do not break apart, they are too hard, or cemented. The formation of stable soil aggregates results from the grinding action of humus and other soil organic matter components, the activities of soil organisms and the growth of plant roots. When the soil has good granular structure, infiltration of water into the soil is increased and erosion reduced. Good soil tilth means the soil works easily. Individual crumbs retain their shape under the stresses of tillage, yet the soil is still friable. Also related to tilth is bulk density, which is the weight per unit volume of dry soil. A lower bulk density means a higher soil porosity and better soil tilth.

Why is soil structure important?
•Soils with ample pore space and an even distribution of large and small pores are well aerated, have good water-holding capacity and infiltration rates and are easy for roots to grow through. 
•Stable crumb aggregates preserve pore space in soils by preventing the clogging of pores with loose particles.

Earthworm abundance count

What is earthworm abundance?
Different types of earthworms occupy specific parts of the soil. Some species create deep burrows, while others live just under the litter layer at the soil surface. Earthworm numbers vary from soil to soil according to soil type and cultivation history.

Why are earthworms important?

Earthworms long have been recognized as an important part of good agricultural soils. Burrowing types ingest large amounts of organic material and mineral soil and excrete them as casts at the soil surface. Earthworm casts contain more enzymes, bacteria, organic matter, and available plant nutrients than the surrounding soil.
Earthworms mix the soil and break up raw plant material. Some bring organic residue from the surface down into their burrows and in turn deposit minerals from deep soil layers at the surface with their casts.
The movement of earthworms through the soil creates passageways that increase aeration and water infiltration. Their lubricating secretions bind soil particles together and increase aggregate.

Preliminary nutrients assessment

What is soil electrical conductivity?
Soil electrical conductivity (EC) is a measure of the amount of salts in soil (salinity of soil). It is an excellent indicator of nutrient availability and loss, soil texture and available water capacity. Although EC does not provide a direct measurement of specific ions or salt compounds, it has been correlated to concentrations of nitrates, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulphate, and ammonia. Soil EC can also be an effective way to determine the texture of the surface layer because smaller clay particles conduct more electrical current than larger silt and sand particles.

Why is soil electrical conductivity reading important?

Soil EC reading indicates nutrients availability in the soil. Low EC reading affects crop yields, the suitability of the soil for certain crops, the amount of water and nutrients available for plant use and the activity of soil micro-organisms.
Soil with excessive salts hinder plant growth by affecting the soil and water balance.

pH analysis

What is soil pH?
Soil pH is a measure of soil acidity or alkalinity. It is an important indicator of soil health.

Why is soil pH important?

It affects crop yields, crop suitability, plant nutrient availability and soil micro-organism activity, influencing key soil processes.

Soil amendment

With all above factors taken into consideration, we will tailor the most cost effective soil amendment inputs according to your soil condition.
These inputs will be used to rectify and improve most if not all the problems faced by your current land.

What soil amendment can do to your land?

Improve the physical properties resulting in better conditions for water storage, root development and soil ecosystems.
Enhances soil aeration.
Increase / decrease drainage.
Increase / decrease water holding capacity.
Increase nutrient holding capacity.
 


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