soil test help

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8 years 10 months ago #509311 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic soil test help
Neil, any conclusions?

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8 years 10 months ago #509326 by Organix
Replied by Organix on topic soil test help
Sound advice from Ruth and I would suggest liming which will 'sweeten' the soil and thereby help with availability of various of the nutrients (which appear to be at good levels). Your herbage tests indicate good uptake of macro elements. Retest next year once the lime has had a chance to activate.

You don't give any indication of your locality, which would provide clues on soil type and its potential buffering ability particularly in terms of pH correction.

@stikkibeek, the reference to "hydroponics" shouldn't be taken as 'growing in water' but in terms of mineral application by way of salts in solution.

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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8 years 10 months ago #509340 by neil postie
Replied by neil postie on topic soil test help
Thanks for the advice everyone, these forums sure help us newbies (and oldbies I suspect)

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8 years 10 months ago #509377 by Ktikat
Replied by Ktikat on topic soil test help
As background I have worked for one of the two large fertiliser companies. But I am now mum with an interest in sharing what I have learnt, and learning from others.

If you are leasing the land is the fertiliser/lime your responsibility at this stage? I would suggest the lessee should be replacing nutrients removed and applying a maintenance lime application. But this will depend on your agreement.

Regarding the soil test results the key thing to remember is that the pasture production will be limited, firstly, by the most limiting factor. In Top this is pH and in Bottom this is Olsen P. The best thing to address then needs to consider the economics (cost of increasing the level).

With a pH of 5.7 in top paddock I think you would see a increased pasture production from a lime application. A general rule of thumb is 1 tonne of lime/ha will raise the soil pH by 0.1 unit.

The Olsen P optimum graph has been calibrated to relate to pasture production following a history of superphosphate application. If reactive phosphate rock (RPR) has been used in the past a Resin P test would be required. If the Olsen P test of 13 in Bottom paddock is accurate phosphate is a limiting nutrient in bottom paddock. Again a rule of thumb is 11 kg/ha of phosphate (eg 120kg/ha of superphosphate) will increase the Olsen P by 1 unit.

The fertiliser association website has booklets you can download that can visually explain this much better than I can.

Also you need to remember that soil test results are variable due to variability within a paddock and in what is extracted in the lab based on soil conditions. A soil test nutrient trend over a number of years is the best guide.

Regarding the pasture test, this is often more useful for determining pasture nutrient deficiencies from an animal perspective. If you are leasing the land this will probably not be your concern? If you do want to look at soil nutrient deficiencies using herbage I suggest a clover only test. This is because clover has a shallower root system than grass so will usually be the first to show soil micronutrient deficiencies. Also clover is one of the key drivers to your pasture system as it fixes nitrogen that is then used by grass.

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8 years 10 months ago #509465 by neil postie
Replied by neil postie on topic soil test help
Hi
thanks for the advice Kitikat.
At tye moment we have no stock on the property as the grass stopped growing and the lease was a casual per head arrangement which is the way we will go for a while. Before I get someone permanant I want to get the fencing, pasure and weeds to a decent level which a leasee will have to maintain. At the moment we have gorse and alot of fences that need repairs.

Do you have an opinion on Phlolime vs solid lime? Some of our land is steepish where a truck couldn't reach so will have to get in a heli to do it and Phlolime looked easiest for a heli to spray

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8 years 10 months ago #509466 by neil postie
Replied by neil postie on topic soil test help
Hi Organix,
It mentions in my post We are in Waihi on Waihi ash with a good covering of topsoil. It would seem lime is the answer. Thanks for the advice

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8 years 10 months ago #509467 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic soil test help
Our commercial fert spreader can spread from his truck on frighteningly steep pasture but the grass must be short and the ground dry, so February. Get quotes from local truck spreaders, and tell them where the block is and who had it before you. They often know the property.
As I understand it, phlolime is ground down to a small and even size. This makes it much more expensive than Aglime, because of the extra processing. Also, because of the smaller particle size it dissolves sooner so instead of 3 yearly application it needs to be done more often, probably annually. This is also a problem with pelletised lime.
If you cannot get it on by a groundbased operation, I would used a plane if there is an air strip handy, rather than a specialty product.

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8 years 10 months ago #509477 by Organix
Replied by Organix on topic soil test help

neil postie;516268 wrote: Hi Organix,
It mentions in my post We are in Waihi on Waihi ash with a good covering of topsoil. It would seem lime is the answer. Thanks for the advice

Hi Neil, Sorry I missed that (as was looking for a location in your profile). Similar soils to my past property near Omokoroa.

My only additional comment to earlier is to include some RPR with the lime on the 'Bottom paddock'. Half a tonne or so per ha, and as per the pH see what it looks like next year.

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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8 years 10 months ago #509708 by Ktikat
Replied by Ktikat on topic soil test help
Pholime may be easier for a helicopter to apply although I suggest speaking to your spreader as they may be able to spread solid lime just as well. (I am from a flat area so didn't deal with aerial fertiliser spreading much).

But either way you need to compare like with like and make your decision based on economics and science not marketing.

The total rise in soil pH is dependant on the amount of Calcium carbonate you apply. The size of the particle will affect the rate at which the pH rises (smaller particle = quicker rise).

If you have the required information (% of calcium carbonate and price of product) compare how much it costs per unit of calcium carbonate. Then include application costs into the equation.

Unless you require a quick lift in pH (and based on your soil test levels and description of your property you don't) the cheapest option is the best.

You mentioned you need to improve pasture, fences and control weeds. If you have poor pastures it may be more cost effective at this stage to put your money into resowing pastures and fencing to control grazing rather than fertiliser? At a pH of 5.7 on poor pastures you may not see an economic benefit through lifting the pH. Just another thing to think about.

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8 years 10 months ago #509711 by Ktikat
Replied by Ktikat on topic soil test help
I questioned the plant tests when I saw your first post, as these should be taken when pasture is actively growing to give a useful result. But didn't mention this as I thought maybe your pasture is growing now (I worked in Southland). But as you mentioned your grass has stopped growing the pasture tests will not be a particularly accurate reflection of plant nutrient uptake and soil nutrient deficiencies.

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8 years 10 months ago #509712 by Ktikat
Replied by Ktikat on topic soil test help
Regarding the Phlolime, a quick answer is solid lime is probably better value for money.

As LongRidge has suggested talk to your local ground spreader to find out if they can spread with a truck. Also talk to the helicopter spreader as they may be able to apply solid just as easily as liquid? ( I worked on flat land so didn't deal with aerial fert spreading sorry.)

When comparing the two products look at amount of calcium carbonate applied per hectare vs cost. (Cost per unit of calcium carbonate = cost of product/amount of CaCO3) While the finer particle product will be faster acting, over time the amount the soil pH is raised by is determined by the amount of calcium carbonate applied. 1 kg of CaCO3 as fine particle lime will not increase the pH any more than 1 kg of CaO3 as coarse lime) In your case you don't need a quick fix to soil pH so solid lime will be fine. (If this can be applied cost effectively).

Your decision needs to be based on economics and science not marketing.

Another thing to consider is the optimum soil nutrient level and pH for your farm based on current pasture species. If you have poor production due to poor pasture species and poor grazing management (because of fences) it may be better to put your capital $$ into fencing and pasture improvements.

So the Olsen P of 13 is probably not an issue at this stage.

Get the pH right by applying the required amount of lime at least a year before resowing pasture. Phosphate and other nutrients can be applied at sowing or once grass is struck. A small amount of nitrogen may also be useful in the first season if you sow new pasture into paddocks that have not been well managed in the past.

If you have steep land you may want to look at variable fertiliser application if possible. This can be a cost saving as stock camps will have higher nutrient levels and may not need fertiliser whereas other areas where stock cart nutrients away from will do. Also look at sunny vs shady faces and differences in potential pasture production. This is probably getting a bit complicated for a small block but it gives you something to think on and then make it work for your situation.

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8 years 10 months ago #509899 by neil postie
Replied by neil postie on topic soil test help
Hi, yes my reading points that Pholime is good for a short sharp kick but needs doing more often hence more spent. I am going to get a couple of truck type spreading people in to have a look. At this point it looks like bog standard lime with some seaweed chucked in. We have a small padock I was going to do with just lime then divide into thirds, 1/3 carry on as normal. 1/3 add seaweed, 1/3 leave farrow for a year and see what difference there is. Should be interestin.
The fences are just alot of little repairs, I'm getting thru them on showery days when its too damp to cut gorse

thanks for the help

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8 years 10 months ago #509900 by neil postie
Replied by neil postie on topic soil test help

Ktikat;516549 wrote: I questioned the plant tests when I saw your first post, as these should be taken when pasture is actively growing to give a useful result. But didn't mention this as I thought maybe your pasture is growing now (I worked in Southland). But as you mentioned your grass has stopped growing the pasture tests will not be a particularly accurate reflection of plant nutrient uptake and soil nutrient deficiencies.

Bugger, at least I know for next time, cheers

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8 years 9 months ago #510264 by Sandra Pedersen
Replied by Sandra Pedersen on topic soil test help
Hi there, I am happy to help you understand them but I can't read them they are too small. Are you able to email them to me
sThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

sandra pedersen

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8 years 9 months ago #510271 by Sandra Pedersen
Replied by Sandra Pedersen on topic soil test help
I finally worked out how to download your soil tests.
Both your pH,s in bottom and top paddocks are low. Your olsen p are ok so I wouldn't put any phosphate on. Both your paddocks are very low in magnesium and I would advise a mix of lime and magnesium. Your CEC isn't too bad. Cation exchange cites are like a fuel tank.
When pH is low you get aluminium toxicity which stunts root growth.What a lot of people don't understand is that once Lime has raised pH it has done its job it doesn't keep working.
I have sent you a private message.

sandra pedersen

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