Soil Sample Testing: How Does It Work?


Are you are a farmer and want to increase the productivity of your farm with a huge margin? The secret to achieving your objective is ensuring that your plants get the right nutrient from the soil, and you can do this through a soil sampling testing. In this post, we will take a closer look at how the soil sample testing work. 

hemp farmers

Soil Sample Testing: Why Every Farmer Needs It 

Soil testing is a method of analyzing the content of a soil to determine its suitability for growing specific crops. When you know the exact nutrients that are found in the soil, it is easy to draw the right soil management model to increase production. Here are other reasons why soil sampling testing is crucial for every farmer: 

Helps in Keeping the Cost of Production Low

The argument that using more fertilizer in a farm will always increase the productivity of your Farm is not always correct. Some farmers who simply buy any fertilizer and use it on their farms report only average sales.

For example, if you are growing hemp, using fertilizer that will pull down acidity could reduce the rate of success of the plant. 

With the wrong fertilizer, it implies that you will be incurring unnecessary costs because it will not be helping the plants to thrive. Even if you overuse fertilizer, it will only raise the cost of production but the bulk of it will either get leached or carried away through erosion.

Instead of using any fertilizer, you should start with soil sample testing to understand the actual needs of your plants. 

Reducing the Risk of Getting Your Products Rejected

If you are a hemp farmer, it is important to appreciate that your product will finally get into the market but will only be accepted if it is safe.

By looking ahead, you can avoid the challenges of having to produce a lot of cannabis but getting stuck with it because it does not meet the market standards. 

When you work with a third-party laboratory to run a soil test for your farm, it is easy to know whether your soil is contaminated with harmful components, such as heavy metals and bio-contaminants. If it contains heavy metals, you should consider adopting strategies, such as indoor farming, that prevent the harmful components from getting into the plants. 

Ensuring You Produce the Best for the Market

The main reason why the demand for hemp products has shot up in the last couple of years is because of its demonstrated therapeutic effects.

For example, CBD oil is known for its effectiveness in helping people with problems such as chronic pain, depression, and mental cramps. Therefore, you should target producing high-quality hemp, and the first step to doing that is soil sampling testing. 

The laboratory you select will also tell you the best conditions for growing healthy cannabis so that it can help users to get the therapeutic benefits that they anticipate. For example, if the soil tester reveals that the pH of your fields is low, you will be advised to use the fertilizer that will raise acidity to about 6.5 to 7.0, which is considered the best for hemp growth.  

Increasing Productivity

As a hemp farmer, your goal is to optimize production, which will ultimately translate to higher revenue. Now, using a soil tester is an enabler for your goal.

When you get your soil tested, it is easy to manage the soil well for the assurance of higher productivity.

So, whether you process the hemp into the final product or sell to processing companies, using a soil test gives you the assurance of a bumper harvest and high returns.  

how do i test my soil

Soil Sample Testing : What is Checked in a Soil Sample Test?

Now that you know the importance of soil sample testing, you might still be wondering, “What exactly is checked?” The primary target is checking the nutrients in the soil so that you can initiate the right soil management strategies. Here are the main components that are tested in a sample:

  • Fertility: The third-party laboratory that you select will check fertility parameters such as nitrogen, which is an important component in the process of photosynthesis. Furthermore, the soil test will determine the levels of other nutrients, such as potassium and phosphorous, which are used for moving the materials across the cells and food storage respectively.
  • Heavy Metals:  Although metals are naturally occurring in the environment, some such as the heavy metals are harmful if they get into the human body. Therefore, the soil sample test will help to check their presence and levels of some of the harmful heavy metals, such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. 
  • PH: PH is the level of acidity in soil and is one of the most important parameters that you need to factor in soil management. Because most plants thrive at different pH levels, a soil test will help you to know the type of fertilizer to use in order to provide the ideal condition for growth and success.

soil samples testing

How does Soil Sampling Work?

The process of soil testing can be broken down into the following three stages:

You Identify a Good Laboratory to Do Your Soil Test 

Before soil sampling testing can commence, you need to identify the preferred laboratory that will analyze your soil. So, go for a third-party laboratory that has made a name for its commitment to quality. If you are a farmer in Texas, one of the top labs in the region is Sante Laboratories.

They have some of the best technologies and will comprehensively analyze your sample and give the right results. 

Get the Samples from Your Farm and Ship to the Lab 

Once you have selected the right lab, go ahead, and get the samples to be tested. Make sure to take the samples from an appropriate depth, about four to six inches, for the best results.

Then, send the samples to your selected lab for analysis. Notably, a lot of farmers have been experiencing serious challenges when it comes to shipping their samples, resulting in major delays. However,  Sante Labs has come up with a new program to ensure that your product gets to its lab in Austin as fast as possible.

Under the program, Sante has partnered with Lone Star Overnight (LSO) to provide free shipping of samples that farmers want to be tested in the Sante labs.

The method helps to reduce the unnecessary delays that most farmers have been facing trying to get their samples tested. It is also cheap and all that you need to do is take your sample to one of the Lone Star Overnight (LSO) pick-up points in Texas. Then, the company will get it to Sante laboratories in Austin within 15 days.

Experts Check Your Sample and Give Back the Report

When the samples are delivered to your selected laboratory, soil samples testing is done by experts, who analyze different parameters and capture them in a report. At Sante lab, every soil test is completed fast and results sent back to you so that you can use them to make key decisions on the right method of fertility management. 

soil tester

How to Get More from a Soil Testing Laboratory? 

If you are a hemp farmer, using a good soil sampling testing lab can help to increase your productivity and success. Today, most of the leading soil test laboratories have the best scientists that can help you to become more successful. If you select Sante Laboratories, here are some useful tips on how to get more from them:  

Engage the Lab Early Enough in Your Crop Growing Cycle 

Notably, many farmers go to seek help from experts when their plants have already failed, but this might not help much. Instead, the best thing is engaging the laboratory early enough in the plant growth cycle. So, consider going for soil sampling testing before planting.

At this point, the experts can also help you to determine the right soil sample testing schedule for maximum productivity.

Use any Programs they Have to Make Farming Easy and Cheap

While you can also take your samples directly to Sante Labs in Austin, it is advisable to take advance of their partnership with Lone Star Overnight (LSO) because it is fast and convenient. Since it is free, you will find it a great method of keeping the cost of production low. 

Use their Experts to Build a Good Soil Management Strategy 

When Sante Labs was established, its primary focus was and still remains to help the hemp farmers to become successful.

To achieve this, the lab has some of the most experienced scientists who can help you to craft a good soil management program. Therefore, in addition to soil testing, you can ask them for recommendations on improving your production. 

Use the Laboratory for Other Sample Testing 

As a hemp farmer, it is advisable to stick to the same laboratory for doing all the necessary tests. So, after using Sante Labs for soil samples testing, consider also using them to test the final products. This test will be crucial because it will determine the cannabinoid profile of the hemp product and check for the presence of contaminants, such as pesticides and bio-contaminants. 

The best method of increasing the production of your fields involves two things; understanding the nature of the plants of interest and providing them with all the nutrients they need.

Therefore, make sure to work with a good soil tester laboratory to help you with soil sampling testing and developing a good soil management strategy. Sante Laboratories has the best scientists and technologies needed to do all the soil tests that you need for your Farm, and you can count on them for higher production.