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Soil, leaf and tissue testing

BioAg nutritional programs can be developed for a wide range of dryland and irrigated agricultural and horticultural enterprises. Soil, leaf and tissue testing are an important part of developing a program for your farm because they provide real data about your paddock or block.

With these data we are able to design a nutrient program to:

  • Correct observed mineral deficiencies
  • Increase microbial mass and diversity in the soil
  • Deliver an efficient and balanced source of nutrients to plants and livestock

Interpreting results and preparing a program

Every program starts with soil test results. BioAg Area Managers are experts at interpreting soil test results and preparing a program that fits in with your yield and quality goals for the block or paddock.

BioAg programs for better soil are backed up by grower success stories, years of experience and significant numbers of independent trials on the application of our products to ensure greatest efficacy.

Depending on your aims for the block or paddock, its history and its current use, we may also recommend a leaf tissue test or a petiole test.

Soil tests

When you arrange your soil test through BioAg, the soil samples are tested at Southern Cross University’s Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL). BioAg soil tests have been developed in partnership with EAL.

When we have the results of your soil test we consider a number of factors when interpreting the nutrient data, such as:

  • How tightly an element is bound in the soil
  • Where, when and how much of a soluble fertiliser application is likely to be bound up
  • 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

Leaf and tissue testing

We use the CSBP Soil & Plant Analysis Laboratory in Western Australia for leaf sample testing.

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’)
  • 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

We use petiole (leaf stalk) analysis to assess the nutrient content of vines at a selected time in the growth of the plant.

The concentration of nutrients in a vine vary from year to year. Uptake of nutrients is affected by seasonal conditions and other factors.

When used as a way of monitoring nutrients, petiole testing can guide fertiliser application decisions in the general maintenance of a vineyard. It is also useful tool to help diagnose the cause of specific problems. A grower may use petiole testing to confirm a diagnosis made by observing visible deficiencies or toxicities.

If we recommend a petiole test, your BioAg contact will do the sampling and arrange for the sample to be tested by the CSBP Soil & Plant Analysis Laboratory in Western Australia.

For more information about petiole testing, download the Petiole Analysis factsheet from the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) website.