Agricultural soil testing

Image of crop rows with agricultural machinery in the background

Comprehensive testing

EAL offers comprehensive soil testing at Full analytical services price list (pdf) for home, recreational and agricultural applications. Nutrient deficiencies and fertiliser requirements are assessed through routine analysis of agricultural soils and soil additives for chemical and physical parameters. Metals and other contaminant testing is also available. Agricultural soils are analysed and reported on a weekly basis with reference to desirable levels for real-time management of farming systems.

Adhering to standard sample collection and preservation procedures (pdf) ensures the highest level of accuracy. These procedures are targeted at a variety of sample types. A soil sampling guide (pdf) is also available to assist in setting up a sampling regime. EAL and NSW DPI have created some videos to help guide on-farm sampling.

Alternatively, EAL can provide qualified staff to undertake on-site sampling at a base rate of $110 excl. GST. Please contact EAL for more information. For further information about agricultural methods, quoting and reports, please contact the Agricultural Co-ordinator, Kris Saville.

Soil testing

EAL developed an Australian version of the Albrecht/Reams soil test (RA-PACK-001) in 1998; suitable for Australian soil types. It has been refined to include:

  • standard Australian testing for exchangeable cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na, H, Al)
  • plant available micronutrients (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, B, Si)
  • phosphorus tests (Bray 1, Bray 2, Colwell)
  • nutrients (Nitrate, Ammonium, Sulfur)
  • 'Reams' dilute Morgan extract for determining soluble nutrients (Ca, Mg, K, P)
  • pH, electrical conductivity, basic colour, basic texture, total LECO carbon and total LECO nitrogen.

An extended suite of tests is also available (RA-PACK-02) to give additional information on nutrients adsorbed to soil particles and organic matter. To obtain this information, not available through traditional testing, the following is undertaken:

  • RA-PACK-01 tests
  • 'Pseudo-totals' extracted with concentrated acids (Ca, Mg, K, Na, S, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, B, Al, Si, P, Co, Mo and Se).

An example soil analysis report (pdf) is provided with desirable levels, based on soil texture, to assist soil management. EAL can also arrange for an independent soil fertility report to be commissioned at the client's request. A large range of additional soil tests are described in the EAL full analytical services price list (pdf). Popular additional tests include:

  • labile carbon (SS-SING-018)
  • Phosphorous Buffer Index (SS-SING-037)
  • chloride (SS-SING-038)
  • pH - CaCl2 (SS-SING-066)
  • phosphorous - Olsen (SS-SING-034).


Agricultural soil samples are analysed weekly, with reporting turnaround times for soils and fertilisers as described in the following table:

Sample type: Arrival: Reporting Day:
Soil, agricultural Weekly batch cut-off Friday afternoon Friday next week


Sample type: Results reported in working days from arrival:
Fertilisers, solid and liquid 5-10