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Soil Analysis
Being aware of the potential risks of heavy metals in soils is important. In Omaha, 125 years of lead smelting at the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) resulted in elevated soil lead concentrations (around 400 ppm) near residential housing. Furthermore, a study conducted on an urban garden soil near a railroad station in Lincoln...
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Ward Laboratories uses soil test methods developed and calibrated by land grant universities.  Standard methods are published in several manuals.  We prefer to use standard methods that have performed well for many years. Soil pH & EC: We use a 1:1 water pH.  This means we measure 10 grams of soil and 10 mL of...
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Management of the physical properties of soil often translate to managing a plant’s access to water, either by increasing effective rooting area or increasing water holding capacity. Available water holding capacity (AWC) is the quantity of total plant available water a soil can provide to a growing crop. This is a soil health test offered...
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The Role of Bacteria Feeding soil microbes includes feeding fungi and bacteria present within the soil. Bacteria are single-celled organisms that are generally 4/100,000 of an inch wide and long. A teaspoon of healthy soil can contain between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria. Because of their abundance, bacteria play important roles in the way...
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I’d be willing to wager that if you are reading this blog, you’ve probably submitted either soil, water, feed, or another of the numerous things we test, to Ward Laboratories, INC.  Then, once you’ve received your results you’ve probably called in and been able to talk to either Dr. Nick, or Dr. Ray and had...
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Reprint From June 2003 Ward Letter. Ward Laboratories professionals often get questions about surface urea application and UAN solutions. Urea is a dry fertilizer that dissolves with water after application creating urease enzyme activity that is naturally present in all soils at some level. Urease enzyme converts urea to ammonia (NH3) and bicarbonate (HCO3) in...
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