Soil, leaf and tissue testing (Analytical Services)

Analytical Services

BioAg is committed to helping primary producers to achieve profitable and sustainable production. All BioAg nutritional programs are based on the use of advanced analytical services to determine the functional availability of nutrients, soil pH, soil electrical conductivity, soil compaction, plant sugar content and plant energy content. Based on this analysis, your BioAg agronomist will develop a custom-made program which delivers the right amount of plant-available nutrients and biological metabolites to:

Correct observed mineral deficiencies;
Increase microbial mass and diversity in the soil; and,
Deliver an efficient and balanced source of nutrients to plants and livestock.
BioAg nutritional programs can be developed for a wide range of dryland and irrigated agricultural and horticultural enterprises.

Interpretation and Program Preparation

We provide each of our clients with a report for each paddock tested comparing the test results with desirable levels for each of the attributes tested. These reports form the basis for discussion with the farmer, and the prescription of an appropriate BioAg nutritional program for that particular soil and crop.

The programs are backed up by years of experience and significant numbers of independent trials on the application of our products to ensure greatest efficacy.

Return to our Home Page to find more about BioAg People, Customer Successes, and Products and Programs.

Soil, leaf and Tissue, Testing and Analysis

Soil Testing

BioAg clients’ soil samples are tested at Southern Cross University’s Environmental Analysis Laboratory according to protocols agreed with us. These are described in the attached paper The Importance of Soil Testing.

Measurement and interpretation of the following parameters enables the most appropriate programs to be developed.

How tightly an element is bound in the soil
Where, when and how much of a soluble fertiliser application is likely to be bound
How much of an element may already be in reserve to be made available to the plant
Changes in the availability of elements over time
The potential risk of “lock up” with “antagonistic” elements

Like to know more about Soil Testing? Read more…

Leaf Tissue Testing

Our clients’ leaf samples are tested by the CSBP Soil & Plant Analysis Laboratory in Western Australia (see http://www.csbp.com.au/Home-Fertilisers/Nutrition-Services/Soil-Plant-Testing.aspx).

We test leaf tissue for the following reasons:

To identify or diagnose a nutrient deficiency
To monitor and manage the nutritional value and quality of the grass/crop grown (essentially using it as a tool to identify a “hidden hunger”).
To provide justification for some recommendations, offering a rational reason for the application or non-application of something, such as “more nitrogen”.
As a cross reference tool with soil test data to provide more confidence in data interpretation.
As a verification tool to check if a foliar application or system is working.

Petiole Testing

Our clients’ petiole samples are tested by the CSBP Soil & Plant Analysis Laboratory in Western Australia (see http://www.csbp.com.au/Home-Fertilisers/Nutrition-Services/Soil-Plant-Testing.aspx).

Petiole analysis is a useful tool to assess the nutrient content of vines at a selected time in the growth of the plant. It can be used to determine appropriate fertiliser applications in the general maintenance of a vineyard (nutrient monitoring) or to assist in determining the cause of specific problems (diagnostic testing).

Nutrient monitoring can be used to assess the adequacy of current fertiliser practice. Nutrient concentrations in a vine vary from year to year as the uptake of nutrients is affected by the seasonal conditions. Monitoring the nutrient concentrations of vineyards over a number of years enables growers to observe trends in the nutrient concentrations and make appropriate adjustments to their fertiliser programs to ensure nutrient requirements are met.

Diagnostic testing can be undertaken to assist in the diagnosis of lesser performing vines or to confirm a diagnosis made on the basis of visible deficiency or toxicity symptoms in vines.

(CRCV VitiNotes – Grapevine nutrition 3: Petiole Analysis)

Soil, Leaf and Tissue Sampling Procedures

Careful sampling is required to ensure accurate analysis which affects the quality of the programs we provide our clients. We have developed sampling procedures which may be carried out by the farmer, or the BioAg agronomist. These may be accessed by clicking on the following titles:

Soil Sampling

Leaf Sampling

Petiole Sampling

Petiole sampling is undertaken by our qualified viticulturists and horticulturalists according to a method established by the Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture, and tested at CSBP Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory.

 Analytical Services Pricing

The importance of soil testing

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.


Fertilisers are expensive. Not maximising your crops yield potential can be as well. So it is important to put the right amount of the right nutrient on at the right time.

Regular soil testing might appear an unwarranted expense, but it is cheap insurance against poor crop yields, poor fertilisers, or unnecessary over-fertilisation.

Cheap or poor quality fertilisers will often contain high quantities of heavy metal contamination. After these contaminants have been added to soils, they can find their way into food, livestock and waterways. An appropriate soil test will determine how much heavy metal contaminant you are adding through your current fertiliser regime.

Measurement and interpretation of the following parameters enables the most appropriate programs to be developed.

      How tightly an element is bound in the soil.

 

      Where, when and how much of a soluble fertiliser application is likely to be bound.

 

      How much of an element may already be in reserve to be made available to the plant

 

      Changes in the availability of elements over time.

 

    The potential risk of “lock up” with “antagonistic” elements.


As a minimum it is recommended to have soil tests carried out every few years to monitor the changes occurring in your soil, however in some circumstances soil testing should be performed more often.

If you have changed fertiliser, or intend to, it is recommended to do a soil test prior to first application, and another soil test after harvest.

The purpose here is to see what effect the fertiliser had on your soil e.g. did it increase your total available phosphorus? Using the before-and-after soil tests in conjunction with your yield results will give you a good indication of how well the new fertiliser performed.


Soil tests should be done prior to sowing of a crop or pasture, and prior to actually buying any fertiliser.

The soil test results will be a guide to what type of fertiliser you need to buy and how much, in order to feed the coming crop.


There are more than 50 types of soil tests available.

BioAg uses Reams and CEC test protocols.

These analyses provide agronomists and farmers with much more information than offered by a typical soil test.

The Reams test is unique as it measures the extraction of elements by the Morgan method which mimics the strength of both plant root exudates and soil biological digestion acids, thus providing information on the availability of the elements. From this information, and from a CEC ammonium acetate extraction, it is possible to measure the following parameters:

      How tightly an element is bound in the soil.

 

      Where, when and how much of a soluble fertiliser application is likely to be bound.

 

      How much of an element may already be in reserve to be made available to the plant.

 

      Changes in the availability of elements over time.

 

      The potential risk of “lock up” with antagonistic.

 

    The potential risk of “lock up” with antagonistic elements.

In relation to the ever elusive and critical element phosphorous, the Morgan extraction, Bray 1, Colwell and Bray 2 tests provide great insight into its functionality. This allows agronomists and farmers to maximise phosphate efficiency in terms both of efficacy and economics.

Importantly, the Reams and CEC analyses, followed by a trace element extraction, provide a lot more information to support sound decision making, and therefore maximising fertiliser efficiency, element availability and grower returns.

It takes around 10 days from the collection of the soil samples to the receipt of results. Our field agronomists all carry the tools necessary to collect samples and record details.


We test leaf tissue for the following reasons:

      To identify or diagnose a nutrient deficiency.

 

      To monitor and manage the nutritional value and quality of the grass/crop grown (essentially using it as a tool to identify a “hidden hunger”).

 

      To provide justification for some recommendations, offering a rational reason for the application or non-application of something, such as “more nitrogen”.

 

      As a cross reference tool with soil test data to provide more confidence in data interpretation.

 

    As a verification tool to check if a foliar application or system is working.


Petiole analysis is a useful tool to assess the nutrient content of vines at a selected time in the growth of the plant. It can be used to determine appropriate fertiliser applications in the general maintenance of a vineyard (nutrient monitoring) or to assist in determining the cause of specific problems (diagnostic testing).

Nutrient monitoring can be used to assess the adequacy of current fertiliser practice. Nutrient concentrations in a vine vary from year to year as the uptake of nutrients is affected by the seasonal conditions. Monitoring the nutrient concentrations of vineyards over a number of years enables growers to observe trends in the nutrient concentrations and make appropriate adjustments to their fertiliser programs to ensure nutrient requirements are met.

Diagnostic testing can be undertaken to assist in the diagnosis of lesser performing vines or to confirm a diagnosis made on the basis of visible deficiency or toxicity symptoms in vines.


Analytical Services & Soil Testing Pricing

R2

Agricultural Reams & Albrecht Soil Testing plus Micros

$120.00

Soil Analysis

Price per Sample (ex GST)

pH; conductivity; available calcium, magnesium, potassium, ammonia, nitrate and sulphur; exchangeable sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen and aluminium; cation exchange capacity; available and extractable phosphorus; organic matter; and available micronutrients (zinc, manganese, iron copper and boron) (Includes a soil nutrition program prepared by a qualified BioAg agronomist)
Trace Elements molybdenum, selenium and cobalt

$30.00

 

Leaf Analysis

B3

Full Foliar Analysis (excluding molybdenum)
nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, copper, zinc, iron, manganese and boron. (includes a remedial plant nutrition program prepared by a qualified BioAg agronomist)

$65.00

Mo

molybdenum

$5.00