The new Soil Life Monitor analysis measures living biomass.

A new soil testing offering from Eurofins Agro will help farmers and agronomists understand soil in a more detailed way than ever before. The tests have been launched in the UK and Ireland to provide chemical, physical and biological insight, offering farmers a better way to monitor, manage and improve the health and fertility of their soil.

“Three new products are now available to UK and Irish agriculture. Fertilisation Manager, Soil Crop Monitor and Soil Life Monitor offer the most comprehensive way to analyse and improve soil health,” the managing director of Eurofins Agro UK, Dan Robinson, said.

Fertilisation Manager measures soil fertility.

“This includes the chemical values of macro and micronutrients,” Mr Robinson said. “Soil pH and the overall structure of the soil is also analysed in conjunction with biological components such as fungi and bacteria.”

The microbial biomass from the sample will help farmers to understand the sensitivity of the soil to conventional farming methods such as ploughing. The number and nature of the bacteria present in a soil sample will also facilitate the accurate calculation of what nutrients need to be added to the soil to optimise plant health and growth.

Soil Crop Monitor is said to provide the most accurate means of testing soil during a growing season.

“Unlike some tests, Soil Crop Monitor analyses both the soil and the plant,” Mr Robnson said. “This measures the plant available nutrients and the nutrients absorbed by the crop.”

Soil Life Monitor, meanwhile, determines the total microbial biomass, fungi, bacteria and protozoa. It also identifies some physical characteristics such as pH and the quality of organic matter.

“Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) found in soil can be measured to provide a fingerprint of the soil content,” Mr Robinson said. “PLFAs are degraded quickly in the soil, so the analysis gives an indication of the amount of living biomass

“This is the most detailed routine analysis of soil life available and has countless applications for agriculture. We are  excited to make all of these tests available to farmers and growers across the UK and Ireland.”

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