Close

Air dry moisture content (2A1)

This method is required to adjust soil chemical results based on air-dry samples to an oven-dry (105oC)
basis. When the air-dry moisture content (M%) is known, the correction from air-dry
to oven-dry is as follows:

 

            Oven-dry result  =   [Air-dry result  x  (100+ M%)]/100

Close

Electrical conductivity (EC) of 1:5 soil/water extract (3A1)

This test on milled air-dry sample at a soil/water ratio of 1:5 for 1 h is suitable for use on all soils, irrespective of whether acidic or alkaline. It usually underestimates the soluble salt status of soils containing natural or added gypsum, particularly if ³ 1% of gypsum is present. Such soils would have an EC of about 2 dS/m. Soil EC x 0.336 (Method 3B1) approximates percent total soluble salts, while approximate soil ionic strength (Method 3C1) at 0.1 bar (I0.1) can be calculated as follows: I0.1 = [0.0446*EC1:5 – 0.000173], where I0.1 has units of mM, and EC1:5 has units of dS/m @ 25oC.

Close

DTPA Trace Elements (12A1)

Soils are extracted with 0.005M DTPA, at a 1:2 soil:solution ratio, and shaken for 2 hr at 25oC.  Analytical finish is either ICP-AES or Flame AAS.

Close

Mehlich3 ICP (18F1)

Analysis of Mehlich 3 extract using inductively-coupled atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES)

Close

Organic carbon - W & B (6A1)

This measure of soil organic carbon (OCW&B; expressed as %C) usually yields a lower figure than the true total organic carbon value. The method uses finely-milled air-dry sample. It involves wet oxidation by a dichromate-sulphuric acid mixture and relies only on heat of reaction. Soil weight should take account of the expected concentration of OC, and it is expected that allowance will be made for positive soluble Cl‑ interference in soils containing >0.5% Cl. The method specifies reporting on an oven-dry (105oC) basis. Nowadays this method is less preferred than 6B methods.

Close

Phosphorus buffer index, with Colwell P (PBI+ColP) pooled analytical finishes (9I2A)

This index of soil P sorption embraces adsorption as well as precipitation reactions. In addition, it utilises the Colwell-P test on the same soil sample as a measure of current soil P fertility (PBI+ColP). Equilibrium soil extracts are obtained by shaking milled air-dry soil continuously for 17 h at a ratio of 1:10 (w/v) with a P equilibrating solution initially containing the equivalent of 1000 mg P/kg in 0.01M CaCl2. In method 9I2a, orthophosphate-P in final particulate-free supernatant solutions is analysed by a molybdenum-blue analytical finish, at a preferred absorbance of 882 nm. Methods 9I2b and 9I2c code for analytical finishes based on ICPAES and a vanadate-P colour finish, respectively. PBI+ColP is calculated as {[Ps (mg P/kg) + Colwell-P (mg/kg)] / c (mg P/L)0.41}, where Ps = freshly sorbed P and c = final solution P concentration. The methods specify reporting results on an air-dry basis.
Close

4B2+4B4 (4B4)

This pH test on milled air-dry sample is suitable for use on all soils, irrespective of whether acidic or alkaline. Values are usually unaffected by fertilisation prior to sampling, as changes to the soil’s ionic strength is masked by the calcium chloride. Code 4B4 indicates addition of 0.21M CaCl2 to a 1:5 soil/water suspension to achieve 0.01M CaCl2 prior to measurement of pH, with stirring. This test is usually conmbined with 4B2, where a water based pH is determined immediately prior to this CaCl2 pH.

Close

pH of 1:5 soil/water suspension (4A1)

This test on milled air-dry sample involves mechanical shaking with deionised water in a closed system for 1 h at a soil/water ratio of 1:5 prior to pH measurement using calibrated electrodes, while stirring the soil/water suspension. The method is suitable for use on all soils, irrespective of whether acidic or alkaline. Values may be lower than expected on recently fertilised soils due to a temporary increase in soil solution ionic strength.
Close

Total organic carbon - high frequency induction furnace, volumetric (6B2)

This method for total soil OC involves production, purification and measurement of CO2 evolved when soil carbon is ignited in a stream of O2. Because all C compounds are converted to CO2, the C from carbonates, charcoal, undecomposed wood, etc, will be included, as no soil pre-treatment is specified. In the volumetric sub-method 6B2a, concentrated KOH solution is used to absorb the CO2 released. The difference between the original volume of gas in the burette and the volume produced after ignition equals the volume of CO2 evolved from the sample, after correction for gas temperature and pressure. Sub-method 6B2b is similar to Method 6B2a, except the CO2 produced by ignition is measured via infrared / thermal conductivity detection. Both 6B2a and 6B2b use finely-milled air-dry sample, with weights varying with expected C concentrations. Surrogate estimates can be obtained by NIR (method 6B4a) or MIR (method 6B4b) reflectance spectroscopy. The methods specify reporting as %C on an oven-dry (105oC) basis.

Close

Total carbon - high frequency induction furnace (with prior physical removal of (6B3)

Following quantitative action / pre-treatment to account for or to physically remove (if present) charcoal and to chemically remove carbonate with excess 5% H2SO3 solution on a hot plate in a fume cabinet, the residual, re-dried soil sample is analysed for soil C by a suitable method, preferably Method 6B2b. The method involving carbonate removal and soil C analysis uses finely-milled air-dry sample, with weights varying with expected C concentrations. The method specifies reporting as %C on an oven-dry (105oC) basis.

Close

Soil organic matter by loss-on-ignition (6G1)

This simple test involves the ignition of finely-milled air-dry sample initially to 105oC and then to 550oC. One hundred times the difference in sample weight in grams between these two temperatures, i.e, [100(Weight105C – Weight550C)] = Loss on ignition550C (LOI550C), which is assumed to approximate % Organic Matter.
Close

Not Specified or mixed (NS)

The laboratory either did not specify the method used or uses a mix of methods when submitting to the certification body

Close

GI-23

Wet digestion - open system without HF, and final medium HNO3/peroxide.  ICP-AES finish.

Close

CA-37

Finely divided dry sample.  Dumas combustion.