WHAT IS SOIL TESTING? HOW IS IT PERFORMED?

Soil testing refers to one or more variety of soil analysis that is conducted to detect the quality of the soil. It could be conducted for a wide number of reasons. This test is most widely used to detect the level of nutrients in the soil. This helps in detecting the quality of the soil for agricultural as well as other purposes that include research and technological use of soil and its various forms. It is also used for detecting the fertilizers that need to be supplied into the soil for improving its nutrient factor 

It also helps in detecting the pH factor of the soil. This test helps in fulfilling various government requirements for maintaining cultivation standards around the country. Various soil testing laboratories have been set up around the country to perform these tests over different types of soils. The process of performing a soil test involves a series of simple steps.

These are as follows:

  • Collect a sample: The first and the most important step in testing the soil is collecting a sample. The sample is collected in small containers or specific soil testing instruments. After the samples are collected, the containers are sent to the laboratories in soil testing lab equipment for detecting various components present in the soil. 
  • Mix it with the required chemicals: The main purpose of taking the samples in the different containers is that it becomes possible to mix it with different chemicals. The chemical in which the soil is mixed depends on what component the soil is tested for. There are different chemicals for carrying out different tests. So, there should be a surety in the mind of the tester regarding what component they want to test the soil for. 
  • Treat the soil: After the tests are carried out and the results are out, the person gets a clear idea about what nutrients are lacking in the soil. Considering the soil, the lack of nutrients is to be treated with the required nutrients. This helps in making the soil fit for usage and agricultural components. Treatment of the soil is very important because if the soil is not proper, it is not fit for cultivation. Even if it is used, the crops will not grow properly and the crops will also have a deficiency of nutrients. 
  • Test it again: Once you treat the soil with the required nutrients, a sample should be collected again. It should again be tested for the same nutrients it was lacking in. This helps in ensuring that the quality of soil has reached the required standards and it could be used to cultivate the required crops. 

The procedure of testing the soil in laboratories is highly promoted by the government authorities. As it helps in improving the quality of the soil, this process has helped most farmers in increasing their total output and ultimately increasing their profits. This process makes the usage of soil sustainable as the soil is timely treated with the required nutrients, this ensures that the soil does not lose its cultivability and is still fit for use in the future. 

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