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British Sugar TOPSOIL expands analysis

British Sugar TOPSOIL expands analysis: British Sugar TOPSOIL has long been trusted to provide detailed and current analysis of its soil products to meet and exceed the British Standards for Topsoil and Subsoil.

To further inform and assist customers with their choice of products, the company is now having all its soil and topdressing products tested with new, state-of-the-art, soil microbiology technology that is used in agriculture to determine soil health and fertility.

British Sugar TOPSOIL expands analysis

British Sugar TOPSOIL expands analysis

Detailed analysis under a microscope looks at the levels of bacteria and fungi in TOPSOIL’s products. It is anticipated that, carried out at regular intervals over time, this level of analysis will help build a picture of soil health in terms of living organisms and give TOPSOIL customers yet more important information on which to base their purchasing decisions.

Working with Hampshire-based SoilBioLab, samples of each TOPSOIL product were submitted for analysis, together with a local arable soil, to establish and compare the amount of:

  • Active Bacteria
  • Total Bacteria
  • Active Fungi
  • Total Fungi
  • Hyphal Diameter (a physical measure of the branching filamentous structure of a fungus – in lay terms, the wider the branching structure, the more mature the fungus)

National TOPSOIL Manager Andy Spetch said: “We want to provide as much detailed technical information as possible on our products, which is freely available to anyone on our website. It is too early to draw any conclusions from this first analysis but we anticipate that, over time, we will be able to build a helpful picture of the health and effectiveness our products.”

This first set of results, which can be viewed on the TOPSOIL website at www.bstopsoil.co.uk  in the TOPSOIL Information section under Analysis, Research and Development, are very much a starting point.

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New analysis unlocks soil health

New analysis unlocks soil health: New soil testing from Eurofins Agro will help farmers and agronomists understand soil in a more detailed way than ever before. The tests have been launched in the UK and Ireland to provide chemical, physical, and biological insight, offering farmers a better way to monitor, manage and improve the health and fertility of their soil.

“Three new products are now available to UK and Irish agriculture. Fertilisation Manager®, Soil Crop Monitor® and Soil Life Monitor® offer the most comprehensive way to analyse and improve soil health,” explains Dan Robinson, Managing Director, Eurofins Agro UK.

New analysis unlocks soil health

New analysis unlocks soil health

Fertilisation Manager measures soil fertility. “This includes the chemical values of macro and micronutrients,” says Mr Robinson. “Soil pH and the overall structure of the soil is also analysed in conjunction with biological components such as fungi and bacteria,” he adds.

The microbial biomass from the sample will help farmers to understand the sensitivity of the soil to conventional farming methods such as ploughing. The number and nature of the bacteria present in a soil sample will also facilitate the accurate calculation of what nutrients need to be added to the soil to optimise plant health and growth.

Soil Crop Monitor will provide the most accurate means of testing soil during a growing season. “Unlike some tests, Soil Crop Monitor analyses both the soil and the plant. This measures the plant available nutrients and the nutrients absorbed by the crop,” says Mr Robinson.

Soil Life Monitor determines the total microbial biomass, fungi, bacteria and protozoa. It also identifies some physical characteristics such as pH and the quality of organic matter. “PLFA (phospholipid fatty acids) found in soil can be measured to provide a fingerprint of the soil content. PLFAs are degraded quickly in the soil, so the analysis gives an indication of the amount of living biomass,” says Mr Robinson. “This is the most detailed routine analysis of soil life available and has countless applications for agriculture. We are therefore excited to make all of these tests available to farmers and growers across the UK and Ireland” he adds.

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