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Articles - Mainland Minerals

19
Jan

Soil Sulphur

Sulphur (S) is an essential element for all plants and animals and is a key part of proteins. In legumes, S is a vital component of nitrogen fixation by the bacteria found in legume root nodules. The form in which S is taken up by plants from the soil is as the sulphate (SO42-) anion. Soil sulphate levels are routinely assessed in many NZ soil tests. However, the SO42- ion is very soluble and thus…

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19
Jan

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

This soil parameter estimates the ability of a soil to hold cations (positively charged atoms and molecules) on exchangeable sites, and thus prevent them from being leached through the soil profile. CEC is an important indicator of soil fertility i.e. a soil with a higher CEC will generally be more fertile than a soil with a lower CEC. Why? Because there are more sites available to store plant available cation nutrients…

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14
Dec

Volume Weight

A sample of soil is usually extracted from its in-situ (natural state) in a paddock (or other sampling location) using a soil sampling tool, typically a sampling augur. The size of the sampling augur varies, but the end result is a core or column of soil of fixed dimensions. A number of individual samples are usually collected in this manner and these are then typically bulked up together into a larger sample which is then sent to the lab for analysis…

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2
Dec

Soil Acidity (pH)

Soil acidity, or its pH value, refers to the relative proportion of hydrogen (H+) ions and hydroxyl (OH-) ions in solution in the soil water. A low pH indicates a high concentration of H+ ions, and greater acidity, and conversely, a high pH indicates a low concentration of H+ ions, and lower acidity (higher alkalinity). A pH meter measures acidity on a logarithmic scale…

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20
Jul

Soil Testing (Part 2)

Soil tests are one of the tools available to the primary sector to enhance sustainable resource management and productivity. A primary producer or consultant might undertake a soil test for a number of reasons i.e. to determine the nutrient status of a soil; to ascertain the existence of any nutrient deficiencies, excesses or imbalances; or to establish…

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8
Jun

Soil Testing (Part 1)

This soil parameter estimates the ability of a soil to hold cations (positively charged atoms and molecules) on exchangeable sites, and thus prevent them from being leached through the soil profile. CEC is an important indicator of soil fertility i.e. a soil with a higher CEC will generally be more fertile than a soil with a lower…

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10
May

Soil Phosphorus (Part 6) – Common Inorganic P Fertilisers Used in NZ

In this final article in this series on soil phosphorus, we have listed in tabular form some of the common phosphate fertilisers used in NZ and some of their properties. Other organic fertilisers are also used which supply phosphorus and other nutrients. However, the composition of the nutrients in compost and animal manures is usually quite low i.e. generally in the order of…

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2
Feb

Soil Phosphorus (Part 5) – Organic P

The forms of phosphorus (P) that exist in a particular soil are important because of the role they play in determining the level of plant available P present in that soil at any given point in time. We discussed some of these forms in previous articles in this series. In this article, we will take a more broad brush…

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18
Nov

Soil Phosphorus (Part 4) – P Fixation

In Part 2 in this series on Soil Phosphorus (P) we looked at some of the processes/products involved in the P cycle, and noted that at any point in time, P can exist in a variety of different forms in the soil, depending on the prevailing soil conditions (pH, moisture, temperature, concentration…

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1
Sep

Soil Phosphorus (Part 3) – Soil Testing: Assessing Plant Available Soil Phosphorus

In the previous articles in this series on Soil Phosphorus (P) we have looked at how soil P status changes over time during soil development (Part 1), and taken a brief introductory look at some of the processes/products involved in the P cycle (Part 2). At any point in time, P can exist in…

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