Soil test? Where to get it done.

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8 years 9 months ago #39922 by Mustangnin
Hi- I just read the thread below - 'soil test help', where Neil Postie got soil tests done and needed help interpreting the results (did not want to crash Neil Posties thread).
We have been on our block for a few years and have never had a soil test done- so it is about time we did and then fertilize appropriately.
We live on the border of Rangiora (North Canterbury). Our grass always grows lush as it is cattle land. It had cattle before us, but we do not have cattle (although grazed a local farmers cows last summer), we generally only do hay and have our pet animals.

It is definitely time to test and fertilize.
Who do I go through? and when I get the test results, who sorts out how to interpret the results and then work out what we actually need?

Any information gratefully accepted. :)

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8 years 9 months ago #509716 by MurrayR
We picked up a "Hills" pack from RD1, followed the instructions for random samples and sent the sealed packs off to Hills Laboratory in Hamilton.
Results were back within a few days.
We were low on Ph and marginal on many elements. Good timing.
Had the results checked over by local spreader who recommended and spread the lime and Super.
12 months later and all paddocks look great!

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8 years 9 months ago #509718 by wttmf

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8 years 9 months ago #509722 by LongRidge
Darn, my reply got lost, so to try again ......
I use Ravensdown because they are easy to contact, easy to collect fertiliser and soil testing gear and paperwork from, are only 20 km away, have a good laboratory, have well trained soil scientists that give interpretations of the tests done, and are a co-operative so have no need to give any suggestions that are not correct. Their staff get reprimanded for giving wrong information rather than for not selling enough :-).
I can deal directly with Ravensdown, but if there is no store near where you are, then Farmlands might be easier. Farmlands are agents for Ballance.
Phone Ravensdown on 0800 100 123 to find out where the nearest store is, and if they have the soil testing gear and paperwork.
For a basic soil test the cost is about $60, which includes a phone discussion with one of their representatives.

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8 years 9 months ago #509789 by Mustangnin
Thank you very much for your replies.

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8 years 8 months ago #509980 by rotors
We recently went to a seminar on soil health at Agri Sea in Paeroa where they had a scientist from Australia who was touring NZ sharing research about soil health and improvement techniques. I highly recommend all to read up on what she had to say. We really need to change our attitudes about the method by which we try to improve soil or support it for better returns. For someone like myself who struggles with science in general i found her fascinating and easy to understand. Check out her blog here : creatingnewsoil.blogspot.co.nz/ I believe she hopes to move to Waikato soon and start working locally! Yay for NZ.

MM and myself on 4.2 acre orchard: Apple, Pear, Plum, Peach, Orange, Lemon, Mandarin, Fig, Apricot and Feijoa.
Plus 1 Dog (Whippet Kelpie cross), 2 Cat, 5 Sheep, Lots of hens and ducks - they keep moving so makes counting hard!! LOL And just recently 3 canadian geese

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