Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we're asked.
What fertiliser should I apply?
Every soil is different and may need different amendments. Without testing your soil it's not possible to tell exactly what needs to be applied to bring that soil into balance and apply the correct quantity to achieve the best crop health and yield. The type of fertiliser may change with the time of year, condition of soil and rate of growth.
How do I test what my soil needs?
To determine what your soil needs, it's necessary to test it. To do this you need to take a soil sample and then send it to an accredited laboratory and they will test it and send you the soil test results.
When should I apply amendments?
If we've been engaged as your consultant our report will advise on what nutrients, how much and when to apply. If you do your own interpretations then the amendments should be applied at the start of your program, however, if the soil requires a large amendment it should be applied incrementally at 3-4 month intervals if rain has fallen and plants are growing.
Should I apply to my whole farm?
We suggest to do a trial application to one paddock or an area big enough to evaluate the results. When you're confident it will deliver to your expectations then do additional areas.
Is one test enough for my farm?
Most farms will have two or more soil types and these need to be tested separately. In areas with the same soil type that have been managed differently additional testing will be required, aspect and topography will influence the number of tests. For example ridges, mid slope and valleys will have differing levels of fertility.
What's the best time to test my soil?
When the soil has had good moisture and plants have been growing well for 4-6 weeks.
Mid to late spring is the optimum time and can be used for autumn application of amendments to perennial pasture and for planting crops.
How often should I test my soil?
Annually if you are cropping or you are improving soil fertility generally.
Otherwise every 2-3 years in perennial pasture to see that your management is heading in the right direction regarding the health of your soil.
Can I compare soil samples taken at different times of year?
Soil nutrient availability varies throughout the year so it's best to test at the same time each year if you want to compare results.
How quickly will I see results?
Using the Soilsmith program farmers report seeing results within 10 days of rain and in some cases it's been obvious in 5 days.
If you have questions not answered here please contact us and we'll provide assistance.