In this edition of SGS Crop Science Canada News:
• Interpret Test Methods for Diverse Soil Organic Matter %
• Verify Water Suitability for Profitable Crops and Livestock
• Confirm the Nutrient Content of Purchased Fertilizer
• Translate Seed Quality Results into Early Success

The standard procedure for testing soil organic matter is by Walkley-Black method. However, for soils with greater than 8% SOM, the result would be outside the range of accuracy, thus we automatically re-test by another procedure known as Loss on Ignition. To ensure that the proper method is referenced to the result, we have added a column to the report so that it is more obvious if the result is produced with Walkley-Black (W-B) or Loss on Ignition (LOI). When the result is by W-B, the LOI column will be blank; but when LOI is required the value will be shown as well as >8 in the W-B column.
Soil Organic Matter influences all three soil properties, chemical, physical, and biological. In general, the higher the organic matter the healthier the soil. Monitoring soil organic matter over time is an important metric in assessing management practices to enhance soil health.

Water can be variable, especially from season to season and across all sources. No matter if water is acquired from a well, pond, dugout, or municipal sources, it is important to know what is in the water before using in your agricultural production. Our experts help you recognize risks and realize potential:
Field Irrigation and Fertigation: Our SGS Irrigation report shows numerical values as well as lbs of nutrient per acre-inch applied.
Controlled Environment Agriculture: When growing in a vertical farm, nursery, or greenhouse, exploring water properties is important before adding soluble fertilizer. The Water Complete package reports nutrient levels in two different units, both ppm and mmol/l.
Livestock Suitability: Not only are our test results quantified, we also compared to acceptable ranges or limits where established.
Spray Water Suitability: Check our SGS Irrigation report to realize if treatment or acidification is needed prior to mixing soluble crop inputs for spraying.

In general, labeled commercial fertilizer guaranteed analysis values should be trusted. However, if there is doubt as to nutrient concentrations, or perhaps to verify blended or mixed products, a fertilizer test will report N%-available P2O5%-soluble K2O. With the increasing availability of non-traditional fertilizer sources such as compost teas, worm castings, or insect frass, a fertilizer test will ensure the amount of nutrient utilized can be accounted for. Secondary and micronutrients can also be tested. SGS offers packages to make testing multiple nutrients more economical, including the newly created Mineral Complete as shown below.
Standard Guaranteed Analysis includes N-P2O5-K2O
Individual mineral nutrients are available, or options below are more economical:
Mineral III includes Ca, P, K, Mg, Na
Mineral IV includes Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn
Mineral V includes all nutrients in Mineral III and IV
NEW! Mineral Complete includes Ca, P, K, Mg, Na, Cu, Mn, Zn, Fe, B, S, Mo
Our accredited fertilizer testing is suitable for liquid, granular or unconventional nutrient delivery products.

Canadian seed laboratories aim to deliver consistent data through accreditation, continual training, proficiency examination, and proven methods. Seed germination is viewed as the ultimate growth response, as procedures are built for the best outcome. Stress tests push performance, using sub-optimum temperatures, heat treatments and humidity acceleration. When contending for an ideal start, consider:
Precision Planting: Compound the germination, stress testing and seed size (TKW) to ensure you are focused on plant population.
Soil Impact: Heighten your awareness of soil pathogens and insects. Aphanomyces (peas), clubroot (canola), cyst nematodes (soybean) can deny yield, so understand the risk through soil testing. SGS can help diagnose or rule out these factors through advance PCR testing when you observe rapid decline in plant growth or acquire agricultural land.
Leaf Disease Impact: It is early to talk leaf disease, but stay tuned as we outline what is important, based on 2024 spring weather!