For the last few years of the survey, we found that Soil Health has gotten a lot of attention. Soil testing service is in great demand nowadays. According to research that we can improve soil health by modifying certain practices in production agriculture. Improving crop rotations is additionally an area of up soil health. A new practice has been used for encouraging farmers to include cover crops where they can use in their farming systems and In agriculture sectors, soil test commonly refers to the analysis of a soil sample to work out nutrient content, composition, and alternative characteristics like the acidity or pH scale level.
In India, Soil testing service began in 1955-56 with the soil testing laboratory at IARI which is popularly known as the hub to coordinate with all the other soil testing laboratories in the country. And this laboratory called as Central Laboratory for Soil and plant analysis is also very well known among research and extension agencies and farmers for its advanced facilities, reliability of reports and analysis and economic consulting service.
During the 1960s, the focus of agricultural extension was on adoption of improved technology and effectiveness of extension methods and in seventies, the emphasis shifted to communication behavior of farmers and extension personnel, mass media, coaching wants and development methods. During the eighties, the emphasis shifted to technological change, yield gap and constraints analysis, development organizations, extension strategies for mobilizing farmers, the impact of the T&V system, and extension and research management. The research coverage, thus, moved from micro-level evidence to macro-issues relevant to the national planning. And in the early ’90s, the various units of extension concentrated on the integration of research, extension, and consumer systems, media development, extension management, native farmers knowledge system, the role of farm women and participatory extension approaches.
The Soil Testing Service is offered in various ways name a few Soil and plant testing for macro- and micronutrients, irrigation water quality assessment, Manure analysis for total nutrient content, soil and plant analysis for heavy metals and pollutant elements.
Most of the Laboratories use basic macronutrients, like N, P and K, as well as several micronutrients for testing purposes. And it provides you with your soil pH and it also measures the availability of soil minerals and nutrients, which referred to as Healthy soil equals healthy lawns and plants. The most important test in a soil test is the pH level. It’s also equally important to include in your test package as well. It can affect the availability of other nutrients in the soil.
The main use of Soil testing is to protect the environment from contamination by runoff and leaching of excess fertilizers, to aid in the diagnosis of plant culture problems, to improve the nutritional balance of the growing media as well as to determine the fertility or the expected growth potential of the soil, which indicates the nutrient deficiencies, potential toxicities from excessive fertility and prohibited from the presence of non-essential trace minerals. And it also mimics the function of roots to assimilate minerals.
Some benefit factors in Soil testing are First, it increases productivity by identifying soil nutrients or soil chemical factors that are limiting plant growth; Second, Increases fertilizer use efficiency by indicating appropriate rates for different soils and crops; Third, to protect the environment by preventing over-fertilization; And Fourth, Identifies polluted or contaminated soils.
Soil testing services are used to facilitate fertilizer composition and dosage selection for land employed in both agricultural as well as in horticultural industries.
You can test your soil at least once in every three years, to keep the test results handy and can monitor any changes in soil fertility. If you have a problem area or if you’ve applied lots of nutrients, you can test it more oftentimes.