Fertilizer Testing

Fertilizer analysis is important in order to detect the different radicals
present in the fertilizer. It helps in the faster growth of the plants. Fertilizers
also supply nutrients for the plants. These nutrients which are supplied to the
plants should be in correct amount for the plants to grow better. Thus, fertilizer
analysis helps in identification of the quantity of the nutrients present in the

Why is fertilizer test necessary?

The fertilizer contains all the nutrients which cannot be obtained
naturally by plants. If any of the macronutrients are missing or hard to obtain
from the soil, this will limit the growth rate for the plant. By testing the
fertilizers, it is easy to know the nutrients present in the fertilizers.

Types of fertilizers:

There are two types of fertilizers that require testing. They are

  • Organic Fertilizers
  • Inorganic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are fertilizers derived from animal or vegetable matter.
Processed organic fertilizers include compost, bone meal, humic acid, amino
acids, and seaweed extracts. Other examples are natural enzyme-digested
proteins, fish meal, and feather meal.

Inorganic fertilizers or Mineral fertilizers need to be applied to crop at least
two times within a growing season (split application), either basally at planting
or top-dressed during vegetative growth. The amount of inorganic fertilizer
used in most smallholder farming systems falls far below standard extension
recommendations, due to poor purchasing power, risk aversion due to poor and
unreliable rainfall, and lack of significant returns.


The parameters that are necessary for the fertilizer analysis are

Macronutrients –

Appearance, pH, EC, Nitrogen, Potassium,
Phosphorous, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur


– Copper, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Boron.

24-105 L

Plant Testing

Plant testing is the determination of the concentration of an element in a
sample from a particular part of a plant at a particular stage of morphological
development. The plant analysis measures the elements that are incorporated
as complex compounds and those that are present as soluble ions in the

Why test a Plant?

The aim of leaf analysis is to relate the nutritional content of the plant to
the physical appearance, growth rate, yield and quality of the product. Leaf
analysis provides the nutritional status of a crop and can be used to identify nutrient
imbalances, deficiencies and toxicities. It integrates all the factors influencing nutrient
availability and uptake. It shows the required balanced nutrients. Testing of leaves also
predicts plant nutrient problems during the growing season and the remedy
can be taken without any loss in productivity.

Selection of Sample:

Selection of plant samples must be taken at the correct time of
year because nutrient concentrations within plants continuously change.
Generally, Leaves are taken from the plant for the analysis. As leaves fall, N, P,
and K concentrations decrease; Ca increases; and Mg first increases and then
decreases resulting in poor nutrition. However, leaf mineral concentrations are
relatively stable from four to six months after leaf emergence. Leaf sample
should consist of 100 leaves. The clean proper bag should be used for the
preservation of leaves. Do not select the sample from the dead and ailing plants
and do not select the sample from the damaged part of the leaf by the insects.
Immature leaves must be avoided.


The parameters that are necessary for the plant testing are


Total Nitrogen, Mineralizable Nitrogen, Chlorophyll content,
Available phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Organic
Carbon, Organic Matter, Sodium


Copper, Iron, Zinc, Manganese and Boron.



Soil analysis is the procedure followed for the confirmation of presence of all
the nutrients that are required for the plants. The major factors contributing to
plant nutrition are

  • The amount of nutrients in the soil
  • The ability of the soil to supply the nutrients
  • Nutrient availability in the soil and its absorption

Is testing of your soil necessary?

Soil is a complex, living, changing and dynamic component of the agro
ecosystem. Soil testing is the procedure done in order to know the nutritional
information about our soil. The determination of our soil helps in deciding the
fertilizers that should be programmed in the field. Balancing the soil results in
the biological activation by improving the soil microbe activity. A proper soil
test will help ensure the application of enough fertilizer to meet the
requirements of the crop. It is possible to determine the nutrient needs and
exportation, identify nutritional deficiencies, evaluate nutritional states, help in
the managing of fertilization programs and diagnose levels of nutrients in
diverse plant organs. Thus plant analysis should be carried out in order to
increase the productivity and demand. Soil testing is the most important
process to be carried out which helps the growers to take better decisions on
plant nutrition and can select cost effective fertilizers.

Note: Optionally, the recommendations of nutrition and the choice of the crop
will be suggested on requisition.

Selection of Sample:

The best time of year to soil sample is in the fall directly after the crop is
removed. It is necessary that the soil should be tested every year. Take the
samples from the depths (about 1 to 15 cm). It is also recommended that in the
areas of season, location, crop rotation, soil type and sampling depth must be
maintained for proper soil test interpretation. The depth of sample for surface
soils would be 0 to 6 inches.


The parameters necessary for soil analysis are:


pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS),
Total Nitrogen(N), Mineralizable Nitrogen, Organic matter(OM), Organic Carbon
(OC), Sodium(Na), Potassium(K), Calcium(Ca), Magnesium(Mg),
Phosphorous(P), Sulphur (S)


Boron(B), Iron(Fe), Copper(Cu), Zinc(Zn) and Manganese(Mn).


Water Testing

The water analysis includes the waste water analysis generally domestic
sewage and industrial effluents. The water analysi is necessary inorder to
decide whether the water sample has pollution potential and also to know if the
water sample is safer enough to use for the irrigation of plants.

Is it necessary?

Water analysis is ultimately necessary for knowing that the water
we use is in the pure form. Majority of the microbes can survive in the water
which causes various water borne diseases. Through water analysis, the
sample can be tested to know if it is suitable for use and healthy. It also
characterizes the hard and soft water. Filtration of water leads to loss of
minerals. Hence the water analysis should be done inorder to determine the
necessary parameters.

Selection of sample:

Water analysis is required for Pond water, Waste water, Domestic
water, Muncipal Water and well water. Generally ground water is pure. The
sample should be collected in the bottle and given to the lab within 48 hours
from collection. Care should be taken from contacting the bottle or the cap.


The parameters necessary for the water analysis are:

General –

pH, Electrical conductivity, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Biological
Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Feacal Coliform,
Turbidity, Salinity, Total Hardness, Chlorine and Dissolved Oxygen,

Elemental –

Nitrogen, Potassium, Boron, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium,
Manganese, Phosphorous, Sodium, Sulphur.

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