Free soil testing available for AMLR landholders

Free soil testing available for AMLR landholders

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Landholders in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region wanting to improve soil health can apply for a free and comprehensive soil test kit.

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ACIDITY CHECK: Natural Resources AMLR sustainable agriculture officer Rebecca Tonkin said it was important to understand the variation in soil health across a property.

ACIDITY CHECK: Natural Resources AMLR sustainable agriculture officer Rebecca Tonkin said it was important to understand the variation in soil health across a property.

Free soil testing is now available for landholders in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region wanting to combat acid soils and improve soil health.

Supported by the AMLR Natural Resources Management Board through funding from the National Landcare Program, landholders can apply to receive a comprehensive kit to test soil pH, and carbon and nutrient levels.

Soil samples are to be collected and sent off by landholders, who then receive a report of the results, detailing advice for addressing any deficiencies.

Natural Resources AMLR sustainable agriculture officer Rebecca Tonkin said knowledge about variation in soil health across a property could help landholders to take appropriate steps and make educated decisions about what to grow on their land.

By mapping exactly where soil acidity occurs and only treating the affected areas, property owners can save money. - REBECCA TONKIN

A recent survey showed many landholders did not complete soil testing on their properties, and were unaware of risks of soil acidity and subsequent soil degradation.

"Surface soil acidity is a serious land degradation issue which affects about 256,000 ha in the AMLR region - that's about 60 per cent of our arable soils," she said.

"The problem is growing, and lime applications (to treat acidity) are not keeping up with the rate of acidification.

"By mapping exactly where soil acidity occurs and only treating the affected areas, property owners can save money."

Landholders can register their interest for soil testing at their local Natural Resources Centre or by contacting Rebecca Tonkin at Rebecca.tonkin@sa.gov.au.

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