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4 Essential Things To Keep in Mind While Choosing a Soil Testing Lab

June 28, 2023

As a landscaper, turf manager, or grower, you must know the importance of genuine water and soil testing in Perth. To have the best harvest, one must determine the plant-available nutrients in the soil. Therefore, using advanced testing methods, you must find an authentic lab to issue a genuine report on your soil. Before you send the soil samples for analysis, it is wise to ascertain whether you have the right experts working with you. So, without further ado, let us look at four things to watch out for in a soil testing lab in Perth:  

Determine their test methods

  Soils differ based on climatic conditions and geographic location. Therefore, a testing lab cannot have the same systems and testing procedures for all soil types. Since you are a Perth-based grower, you need to determine whether the lab has specific testing methods tailor-made for soil in Perth. Only the right testing method can give you exact values of plant-available nutrients and help you grow your crop strategically. Testing methods can be a make-or-break factor if you are a part of the crop supply chain, as one wrong decision can ruin the entire harvest and disrupt the supply chain.  

Determine their authenticity

  The lab must have credibility if you are to make an informed decision based on their report. Ensure that the lab is regulated by NATA or the National Association of Testing Authorities so that you do not hire a local lab with ill-trained scientists. Genuine labs do not shy away from sharing their success rates with you. They will also be happy to connect you with their past clients so you can rest assured of their testing quality and credibility.

Determine their report format.

If you are to compare two reports from two separate labs, you must at least have the same format in front of you. For example, units used for test parameters can differ between two labs. One lab may report the results in pounds per acre, while others may do it in pounds per 1000 square feet. Therefore, comparing the results of two reports cannot be easy without a simple conversion of values. Besides that, categories also make a huge difference. Some labs use subjective ranges such as low, medium, and high, while other labs may publish their test reports in exact values or percentages. So, ensure your lab representative publishes their reports considering the other formats.

Determine their turnaround time and recommendations.

Almost all labs leave you with recommendations for your crops—for example, the use of calcium hydroxide, fertiliser, and lime, etc. These recommendations are a product of years of experience and research; however, you must ask for their basis, after-effects, and repercussions before considering them. Besides that, turnaround time is also a paramount concern since you must be expected to sow, harvest and supply your product on time. However, it would be best if the lab does not compromise on the accuracy of their results simply to meet the timeline. Final Thoughts Finding an authentic soil testing lab is undoubtedly not a cakewalk. But you can make an informed decision with the help of the four points mentioned above.

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