Soil testing for crop nutrition (Southern Region)

Published: 20 Jan 2014

Cover page of the Soil Testing Fact Sheet (Southern Region)

Updated critical values for soil tests will help improve test interpretation to inform better fertiliser decisions.

  • A range of soil test values used to determine if a nutrient is deficient or adequate is termed a critical range.
  • Revised critical soil test values and ranges have been established for nutrients, crops and soil class.
  • A soil test value indicates if there is sufficient nutrient supply to meet the crop’s demand.
  • Results from more than 2200 trials from south-east Australia have been compiled into a database that can be used to estimate soil test critical values and ranges.
  • A value above the critical range indicates there is not likely to be a crop yield response to added nutrients.
  • A value below the critical range indicates there is likely to be a crop yield response to added nutrients.
  • Critical ranges for particular crops and soils have been established for
  • 0 to 10cm.
  • Soil sampling to greater depth (0 to 60cm) is considered important for more mobile nutrients (N, K and S) as well as for pH, salinity and sodicity.
  • Use local data and support services to help integrate soil test data into making profitable fertiliser decisions.

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GRDC Project Code DAN00132, DAN00165, DAN00166, DAN00168, DAV00125, UMU00030

Region South, North, West

Region: South; North; West