Soil Health & Testing
Looking for assistance with soil testing or agronomy?
Soil Testing is available and performed through Agronomist Steve Dickson at an independent lab.
Steve is an Agronomist who operates his own business in South West Victoria called Crop Plus Agronomy.
A part of his role is advising farmers on growing crops and pasture production.
Steve also breeds and races Standardbreds. In the summer months he prepares standardbred yearlings for the Australian Pacing Gold yearling sales.
Steve is available for consultations and works closely with the Hi Form team to ensure pasture management is a huge part of your horse’s health and wellbeing.
If you would like Steve to test your soil, click the button below and complete the form.
The Dirt on Dirt
Written By Steve Dickson
Soils provide many important functions for plants, animals and humans. The most obvious is for supporting growing crops, plants and trees in the wild, on the farm and in our gardens - but there are lots of others too. For example soil is very important as a home, or habitat, for the teeming millions of soil organisms. It is quite amazing how much variety of life exists in soil.
Soil is extremely important as a filter removing pollution from our drinking water and helping to regulate the flow of water through the landscape. Most rainwater ends up moving into the soil before it gets to plant roots, the aquifers or the river!
Soil is also the foundation for our buildings and roads. Houses and schools are built on soil. The type of soil affects how buildings are made!
Soil also protects our history and past - archaeological finds are dug from the soil. Soil plays an important part in the preservation of the earth's history.
Finally, soils are important in the story of climate change. Soil organic matter is one of the major pools of carbon in the biosphere and is important both as a driver of climatic change and as a response variable to climate change, capable of acting both as a source and sink of carbon. Soils also helps regulate other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide and methane.
These are important reasons we must understand and look after soil
Why Soil Test -
First step in establishing a good pasture is to know what is happening in you soil. This is best done by collecting a soil sample from your paddock and sending it to a lab for analysis. If the pasture is low in pH then lime is a big factor to consider. If the paddock is a heavy soil type and gets wet it may need gypsum. Both of these are best put on when the paddock is being cultivated. The next factor to consider with your soil test results is what nutrients do I need and levels of these nutrients do I aim for to achieve maximum pasture production, most lab tests will provide you with a result of your soil then a desired level to aim for. Phosphorous, Potassium and Sulphur are the main elements to consider, but just as important are the trace elements such as zinc, copper, boron, selenium, molybdenum.