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Soil Scientist
Over the past year, our soil experts have added the Soil Health Assessment test. Soil health is the overlapping areas of the chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil. Previously, the chemical or nutrient status of the soil has been the main focus of soil testing laboratories. Recent addition of biological properties have become...
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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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Available Water Holding Capacity (AWC) of soil the amount of water held in the soil for crop growth and yield. Field capacity is the amount of water a soil will hold against gravity at a water tension of 1/3 atmosphere. Permanent wilting point is the point where plants cannot obtain more water and remain wilted...
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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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As the animal scientist here at Ward Laboratories, INC. my blog posts typically focus on how feed and forage testing can help producers reach animal production goals. However, at the American Foarage and Grasslands Council Annual Conference, soil sampling pastures came up as one of the top ways producers see as economically beneficial. So, this...
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