Agricultural Analysis

The accurate measurement of Ions is critical to the Agricultural industry. Farmers ensure the correct amount of Lime is ploughed into arable land a process controlled by the measurement of pH in the soil. 

The Measurement and control of Nitrate in soil and plant material ensure that the fertilization process is at its optimum. Regulatory bodies aim to ensure that run off from Agricultural land doesn’t contain harmful levels of Ammonia, Phosphate or heavy metals and livestock farmers try to ensure that the animal feed contains the correct level of Calcium and that Dairy herds have the correct stomach pH to maximise milk production. Electrochemistry is everywhere!

Whilst the measurement of e.g. Nitrate in water or Calcium in milk is straightforward enough much of the analysis in agriculture is made on samples of soil or vegetation. In most cases electrodes cannot be stuck directly into these samples to get a representative result. The measurement of pH in soil is one exception.

However with a little sample pre-treatment the ions contained within Soil, Vegetation or Produce can be extracted into an aqueous solution and be ready for analysis using pH, ISE or Conductometric methods.

EDT directION have prepared a selection of common methods used in the Agricultural arena and these are available for immediate download. The methods include a section on sample preparation and contain practical hints and tips to enable the user to achieve a good result with the minimum of fuss.

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Calcium in Soil

Calcium is extracted from the soil sample using sodium acetate (pH 8.2) and then directly measured using a Calcium ISE.

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DETERMINATION OF POTASSIUM IN SOILS

A laboratory method for the determination of Potassium concentration in air dried soil

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DETERMINATION OF THE pH OF MINERAL SOIL

The pH of a mineral soil is defined as the pH, measured potentiometrically, of the suspension obtained by shaking the soil with water under controlled conditions.

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