Soil Health Testing

Many farmers are adjusting their Rotations, Cultivations & Fertilising practices. This includes many combinations of Cover Crops, more Animal manures, less Pesticides, moving less Soil with less Horsepower to improve their soils' resilience. This has added benefit of allowing the plant roots to do a better job in seeking out nutrients that the plant requires & improving Organic Matter levels. Every farm is different.

This requires a long term plan, which needs measuring to properly monitor & establish progress.

For greatest accuracy Soil Fertility & Organic matter needs Laboratory Testing - But at a Cost.

A.S. have a package of Field Test Equipment which enables farmers to gain ownership over the condition of their Soils, by doing much of the monitoring themselves.

Brand New to UK Farmers are SOLVITA Field Test Kits (USA) to measure Soil Health, also Manure & Compost levels. We especially believe ‘Soil Health’ testing by measuring CO2 respiration of the Microbes in the Soil (breaking down the Soil Organic Matter) will help most UK farmers achieve their objective.

We believe the best timing for CO2 Respiration testing will be between Harvest and Soil disturbance planting the next crop!

Watch the video "What is Regenerative Agriculture?":

Watch the video "How to run Solvita Soil Respiration as Field Test":

What is Natural Soil Respiration?

Many soil labs offer the lab-based version of Solvita (CO2-Burst) which is conducted together with regular nutrient testing. Solvita Natural Soil Respiration makes it possible to test soil directly in the field and is intended to be used with fresh, moist soil which represents the natural state. Measuring soil respiration with recently sampled soil that is not dried and ground can provide vital information regarding behaviour under actual conditions without the disturbance and interruption of processing, drying and grinding. A detailed Instruction Manual is provided with each kit.

How does Soil CO2 relate to Soil Health?

Soil CO2 as measured with Solvita is a unique test in which microbes themselves generate the result. (In contrast, normal soil testing relies on extractions and calibrations to interpret results.) Solvita therefore relates to soil health by providing a direct measure of soil biological response. This also explains the goal of measuring respiration with minimal soil disturbance.

Additionally, CO2 released by soil has direct significance for plant growth due to photosynthesis. Crops consume large quantities of CO2 on a daily basis which is converted into basic sugars. While it is customary to state that the CO2 comes from the air, in reality it comes originally from the soil, and thus healthy soils can deliver more CO2 to crops. Here are some interesting facts:
  • The quantity of CO2 which crops take up compares closely to the amount of CO2 which a soil is capable of producing.
  • If plants don’t have enough CO2 available for assimilation, then CO2 could be a “limiting nutrient.”