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soil test what do you think about this lab?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Hi I have googled a bit for soil tests in Australia and they are usually $110 each (it is a home garden)
But I have found this lab: https://www.csbp-fertilisers.com.au/docs/default-source/our-land-pdf/soil-pricelist-2016-17.pdf?sfvrsn=d292633e_0
what do your think? Is it a comprehensive test? And it is in WA I am in the Sydney region  far away.
 
pollinator
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Wow...if I did currency exchange correctly I come out with $82 for a soil sample, something that just cost me $12 here!!

Here we get a "standard" test and a "comprehensive test", the latter of which just contains the available nitrogen in the soil. The latter is of no great use unless it is in the midst of the growing season. For instance, I just took a soil sample, and because I live in the Northern Hemisphere; we just started the growing season so no real need for available nitrogen, so I got the standard test. But last year when I had a soil taken in August as I had a field that was in rough shape; I had the comprehensive test done.

For you; being in the southern hemisphere and in autumn, you can get by with one of the cheaper tests I would think.
 
pollinator
Posts: 555
Location: Middle Tennessee
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The comprehensive test looks pretty good and is the one I would choose. Knowing the calcium levels along with the other cations they mention like magnesium is extremely helpful in building healthy soil. Calcium alone is so important for plant metabolic health, not to undermine the importance of other elements, but calcium is also what keeps soil clay particles from sticking together improving a soils ability to breathe and allow water to flow through. On the opposite side, excessive magnesium makes soil clay particles stick together and prevent soils from breathing and allowing water to flow. Having adequate amounts of elements in a soil is important, and part of it, but a lot of science has been gained in the last couple decades with a new understanding that proper ratios between certain elements, like calcium & magnesium, really makes soils thrive. Since the comprehensive analysis tests for both of those, you will have the values to help guide you to an ideal Calcium:Magnesium ratio of 10:1. Hope this helps!
 
gardener
Posts: 3274
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Prices are good for Australia.
I really like their individual test prices, that allows you to get Exchangable cation concentrations for some of the primary minerals.
The comprehensive set is good but if you added this "Exchangeable Cations without pre-wash (Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Aluminium)
cost minus GST 14.95  cost w/GST 16.45  sample size required 15g", you would have a really good set of information.

Redhawk

Don't forget that silicon is a required mineral for micro organisms to be able to utilize calcium, iron and other important micronutrients, all of which will build you great soil.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1105
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Yes our prices (of everything) are through the roof. Thanks for the hint with the silicon.
 
Posts: 172
Location: Alberta, zone 3
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Through the roof?
I just got one done and that was the cheapest I could find. I paid C$160. I had quotes last year that were in the $350-400 range.
What I am doing wrong?
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Simone, you might try to get in touch with this part of the Canadian Government, they might still have an extension service with lower prices on soil testing.
Canadian Agriculture services and programs

Redhawk
 
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Sorry to bump and old thread... I am also in Australia (victoria) and would like to get my soil tested.

Angelika Maier, did you end up getting your testing done with this company? If so, would you recommend going with them?
Did they provide anything other than the lab results, or do they also provide suggestions for ways to amend the soil?

Thanks!
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Not so far. I am going to but my beds are planted and it rained. I have to figure out a method to get a sample out that mimics a real tool... I will take Logan labs they are so much cheaper. I know I should buy Australian. I emailed them and it is OK to dry the soil sample in a food dehydrator (my oven would taint the results .
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 3274
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Most soil sampler tools are just a modified piece of pipe or rigid conduit with a T handle so you can "screw" the pipe into the soil and then remove a plug sample.

I have one that is 2" and one that is 1" ID rigid conduit pieces. I welded a second piece of the same piece on the top as the handle and made a cutout on the side for pushing out the sample.

If you do a search for "Soil Sampler device" you should be able to fashion one with out a lot of trouble.

Redhawk
 
Bowen Rees
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Angelika Maier wrote:Not so far. I am going to but my beds are planted and it rained. I have to figure out a method to get a sample out that mimics a real tool... I will take Logan labs they are so much cheaper. I know I should buy Australian. I emailed them and it is OK to dry the soil sample in a food dehydrator (my oven would taint the results .


I was looking at Logan Labs since you mentioned now and it doesn't appear to be cheaper to me.

Logan labs complete package for $72 AUD equivalent, $55 USD (http://www.loganlabs.com/doc/LoganBrochure.pdf)

CSBP fertilisers comprehensive package for $64 AUD (https://www.csbp-fertilisers.com.au/docs/default-source/lab-new/price-lists/soil-analysis-pricelist-2017-18.pdf)

They seem fairly comparable tests (although I could be mistaken because I don't understand all the jargon).

And also the shipping and turn around for Australians to go to CSBP should be better as well. Is there something I'm missing?
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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There is another reason why I go with Logan: their usual test is around $32 AUD and this is what Solomon uses. Since I hav no clue about what I'm doing I'm simply going to stick to the worksheets in the book. They are fairly straightforward, but only work with the Mehlich test.
 
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Location: Perth, Australia
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Steve Solomon also recommends Agvita Labs  http://agvita.com.au/. ; If your soil is not Calcareous, then they are professional and efficient.  The cost is around $120 including the shipping for their comprehensive ES22 (Mechlich3) test.  They also test water using similar methods and report (if you are using spring/bore water I recommend this).  Water can be quite salty, and I have seen such brakish results that worry me that the soil will tighten up and turn the land barren with Market Garden water use.  It is common from bores in Western Australian hills and wheat belt.

My Market Gardening friends have used SWEP labs http://swep.com.au/ (especially for Calcareous soils) and find their results reliable.

True, though, if I can get enough of my act together and got many tests done for folks, I would use Logan Labs, since it is a much lower cost, even though I want to use "locals" as much as I can.

I would suggest avoiding CSBP (based on my values) as they are one of the big guys, heavily invested in the status-quo.  Professional but if you are into permaculture, only use them if other choices are painful in my opinion.
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Waypoint is $15USD, private company so they don't care if you are international. Order the S3M for the micros, same cost as NPK.

They email the results in a couple weeks.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1105
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Thanks! Really $120 per test is unaffordable to the normal home gardener. In my area the soil is acidic and sandy, if there is soil at all (Blue Mountains). It would be great posting the Australian results here to compare.
 
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