Grain growers are encouraged to make sure that the soil testing laboratory they use in coming months is certified to conduct the test they require.
This is one of the messages contained in a new Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) fact sheet Better Fertiliser Decisions for Crop Nutrition.
Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) researcher Ross Brennan said soil testing was the key quantitative nutrient information source that could be used to predict yield response to nutrients.
“It is therefore important that growers and advisers do some research to identify a laboratory that can provide the services required,” Dr Brennan said.
“Most laboratories are competent in conducting pH and organic carbon testing.
“However, for tests such as Colwell-P, DGT-P, nitrate N and exchangeable cations, look for laboratories with current Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) certification for these tests.
“National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation of the laboratory is also desirable.”
A list of certified laboratories is available at www.aspac-australasia.com
The Better Fertiliser Decisions for Crop Nutrition fact sheet is the first in a series to help growers make better fertiliser decisions, produced as part of the GRDC’s More Profit from Crop Nutrition initiative.
This fact sheet and one on Micronutrients are included in the November-December edition of the GRDC magazine Ground Cover.
They are available at www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-CropNutrition-Micronutrients and www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-BFDCN