Soil Testing

Why test your soil?

Soil testing refers to the wide variety of soil analysis conducted determine the plant-available concentrations of plant nutrients, in order to determine fertilizer recommendations in agriculture.

We are passionate about soil health and our soil testing (click here to see our success stories) will tell you everything you need to know about your soil; it’s pH, the amount of organic matter and available nutrients, the soil structure and even its microbiology.

Armed with the knowledge from soil testing, you can balance the nutrients in your soils and understand how physical properties like compaction are reducing your crop’s rooting depth and drought tolerance. Research has shown that by addressing chemical imbalances and soil structural issues, the biodiversity in your soil will increase naturally and with time this will result in less disease, lower pest pressure and proper utilisation of fertiliser.

In African soils, we have found that understanding these factors and then managing your soil properly is the best way to improve your yield. Healthy soil means healthy crops, and our soil tests will help you growing more by using less.

Soil Analysis Laboratory Accreditation

A soil test is only worth paying for if it is done properly. If the test results are wrong, the recommendations will also be wrong. You cannot manage your soil health with bad data. This is why we invest so heavily in our ISO 17205 accreditation (download our accreditation certification here). With 21 years of experience, we work hard to make sure you can trust the results from our laboratory.

With Cropnuts you also get so much more than just test results. With our agronomic expertise and data from hundreds of field trials, we have developed an independent Agronomy Engine that will take the results of your soil test and provide you with the best lime and fertiliser programme for your farm

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Which soil test do you need?

Cropnuts offers a range of different soil tests depending on what you need.

If you are growing field crops, then Cropnuts offers a soil nutrient test that covers all of the macro and micro nutrients. This helps you identify the soil fertility problems on your farm. We also offer a customized recommendation for lime usage and a crop specific fertilizer program, helping you to correct any nutrient imbalances. In addition to a soil nutrient test, we also recommend periodic soil texture and composition analyses as well as Soil Risk and Crop Compatibility Analysis where appropriate.

With this information to hand, our dedicated agronomy team are also available to help you interpret our recommendations and implement them on your farm.

We offer this service to both large scale and small-scale farmers across Africa, helping you to invest wisely and apply the right inputs, wherever you are and however big your farm is.

Our greenhouse soil tests measure the soil nutrients in a drip water extract. This specialized soil test provides a snap shot of the plant available nutrient levels in the root zone. From this data, we can recommend a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer program that can be fed through the greenhouse drip system. We also provide a fast and accurate 1:2 soil-water extract ratio analysis, with accompanying fertilizer recommendations.

Greenhouse systems need regular monitoring, and Cropnuts also provide onsite technical support, helping you to take samples and discuss any crop nutrition or health issues. We also offer onsite training sessions to help you build your on-farm capacity and are available on the phone or by email whenever you have a problem or need a question answered.

In addition to our soil nutrient testing, we also offer soil texture analysis (sand, silt, clay ratios), soil carbon and CO2 burst tests, which measures the CO2 respiration and is a proxy for the level of biological activity.

In addition to the chemical properties of the soil, knowing the physical structure and biological response of your soils is essential for proper soil management. These fundamental properties influence root formation and aeration and affect nutrient uptake by the plants. Well structured, biologically active soils produce healthy, disease resistant crops which yield better and produce higher quality grains.

As with our soil nutrient testing, our agronomy team is on hand to give advice. In addition to soil tests, we can help you come up with a management plan to help you improve soil structure and increase biological activity.

Our soil risk and crop compatibility analysis measures various parameters that affect what crops you can grow where. We test for heavy metals in the soil, which can affect the quality of your crops and how suitable they are for export. We also conduct pathology and nematode tests where we screen for soil-borne diseases such as bacterial wilt that will seriously limit your yield potential.

Having this information helps you gain a better understanding your soils, what will yield well and how to correct any possible issues. It also helps farmers understand the technical limitations of growing certain crops in different soils.

For large scale projects, we also recommend land suitability surveys and agri-finance consulting to assess the technical and commercial viability of new projects.

Talk to our Soil Testing experts

How Stephen Tripled His Coffee Yield From 2 to 6 Tons

If I told you a smallholder coffee farmer could triple their coffee yields with lower fertilizer costs than before, what would you say? This is Stephen, a smallholder coffee farmer from Central Kenya. He used to harvest 2500 kilos of coffee from his trees. His coffee yields were “stuck” because of the “law of minimum” […]

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