The service enables growers to establish the nutrient status and requirements of their crops from a single service provider, thereby averting the logistical nightmare of having to submit samples to several laboratories. In addition, a grower receives all results in a uniform easy-to-understand format as well as in a spreadsheet, thereby facilitating record-keeping.
Standard soil test results include organic matter, clay, resin-extractable phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, acid saturation, exchangeable sodium percentage, ‘reserve’ potassium and micronutrients.
For the assessment of salt problems in soils, results include electrical conductivity of the saturation extract, sodium adsorption ratio, exchangeable sodium percentage and soluble and exchangeable cations.
For sugarcane, fertiliser, lime and gypsum recommendations are provided.
Leaf analyses include macro- and micronutrients, sulphur, silicon and boron (if required as an additional determination).
In the analysis of water for irrigation, results include electrical conductivity and major cations.
When sending leaf, water or soil samples to FAS, always remember to include the appropriate submission form and information for the crop concerned. Label all samples (soil boxes, leaf labels, fertilisers and/or water vials) according to what is written on the submission form. This ensures that the correct analyses are done on the appropriately labelled sample in the quickest time possible.
Kerisha Raghunandan is Publications Officer at SASRI