MEASURING SOIL HEALTH BEYOND NUTRIENTS – Part 1
New Soil Health Test from A&L Canada Laboratories Factors In Beneficial Micro-organisms.
As growers, when we hear the terms “bacteria” and “microorganism”, our tendency is to think the worst – and shudder at the prospect of soil borne diseases that can attack a plant or threaten a crop. However, just as there are good bacteria in your intestines that are essential to digestion, there are good bacteria in the soil that play a pivotal role in plant health and production.
A&L Canada Laboratories, a leader in agricultural-based biological research and analytic testing, is at the forefront of efforts to help growers assess and improve soil health. Recently, they have turned their attention beyond just nutrients, and are now shining a light on microbial populations.
They have just introduced an innovative new Soil Health Test Report that provides an effective and accurate measurement of beneficial microbes in the soil. This data builds on the existing nutrient information to provide a more comprehensive understanding of soil health.
This new test measures Organic Carbon, Reactive Carbon and Organic & Inorganic N, and also includes Solvita Testing (CO2-C). It will not only reveal the levels of microbial activity in the soil, but will also identify which micros are at work. Essentially, A&L Canada Laboratories test will differentiate between beneficial microbials that have a positive impact on production and those that have minimal (or neutral) impact.
Armed with this information, growers will be able to take proactive steps to increase the population of these beneficial microbes.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series. First, we will review the strides A&L Canada Labs researchers have made when it comes to differentiating between beneficial microbes and minimally beneficial (neutral) microbes. Then we will discuss the key indicators behind this insightful new soil health test, and how they can be used to inform an overall soil health strategy.