SOIL SAMPLING – PROCEDURES, METHODS, SOIL pH & IMPORTANCE
Refers to obtaining of small quantity of soil that is representative in all aspects of the entire farm.
Soil Sampling Procedures
- Clear the vegetation over the site.
- Dig out soil at depths of 15-25cm.
- Place the dugout soil in a clean container.
- Mix thoroughly the soil in the container.
- Take a sample and send it to National Agricultural Laboratory for analysis.
The container carrying the sample should be properly labeled as follows:
- Name of the farmer,
- Address of the farmer.
Sites to Avoid
- Dead furrows, ditches.
- Near manure heaps.
- Recently fertilized fields
- Ant hills.
- Under big trees.
- Near fence lines or foot paths.
- Do not put them in containers which are contaminated with fertilizers or other chemical containers.
Methods of Soil Sampling
Soil testing is the analyzing of the soil sample to determine certain qualities of the soil.
Importance of Soil testing
To determine the value of the soil hence determine the crop to grow.
To determine the nutrient content hence find out the type of fertilizer to apply.
To determine whether it is necessary to modify the soil pH for a crop.
How Soil pH affects Crop Production
Influences the physical and chemical properties of the soil.
Affects the availability of nutrients.
Influences the incidences of soil borne diseases.
Determine the type of crop to be grown at a given area.
Methods of pH Testing
Universal indicator solution
Know the course of action to be taken in the event of a disease and maintenance of good health.
Know the prevalent diseases.
Calculate the cost of treatment.
Marketing Records show commodities sold, quantities and value of all the sales.
Labour Records – show labour utilization and labour costs.