Why Soil Test?

soil sample collection

I am about to start a Cocoa plantation project on a client’s farm. Due to the size of the land, I suggested a soil physiochemical test to the client, even before he went ahead to make necessary payment on the land.  After gotten the soil test result, he called me and said “”What do I do with my soil test results?”

I was just laughing with the question. So, in order to address this issue, or answer the question, I will also like to enlighten potential farmers or investors on the importance of soil test in agriculture.

First, soil sampling and analysis gives you chemical and physical information about your soil, which can be used to optimize plant growth or assist in solving soil-related problems.

When an initial soil test is done, the results will guide you in the decision whether or not to fertilize, resulting in environmental and economic benefits. It will also help you in fertilizer recommendations for some plant species.

When you carry out a soil test, it can indicate problem areas in your soil. Problem such as: excess salts, high or low pH, problematic soil texture, adverse nutrient levels, etc.  Therefore, the result will be useful for guidance in the management or remediation decisions.

In conclusion, a soil test should not be done only at the beginning of the project; it should be carried out over time to allow you follow changes in soil properties over time. This is useful to track remediation efforts or determine if unfavorable trends are occurring.

A soil test is important in crop production and fishery.

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