Our state-of-the-art lab equipment generates comprehensive, reliable data. Test results are displayed in easy-to-read reports, which highlight the most crucial information. Cross-analyzing soil data with plant tissue data gives you a full picture - not only of how your crops are performing but also how the soil's potential could be further tapped.
Soil test results can be complicated and confusing to read, but they don't have to be. Next Level Ag has developed a unique format for displaying your test results that keep the grower's perspective, not a chemist's, at the forefront. The Indicator Complete Soil Test Package shows results in a way that can be easily understood. Five primary nutrients are highlighted, and a ranking is given to each one. This makes it very clear which areas need to be focused on and improved. These components are all averaged together to create an Overall Efficiency Rating . A nutrient recommendation is then created by combing the Efficiency Rating with the desired Yield Goal. Straightforward reporting like this aids in smart decision making, helps conserve your resources, and saves you time by making it plain and simple what it will take to get your operation to the Next Level.
Our reports contain information about key nutrients, but with an added twist: each nutrient is broken down into 5 different components. These components are then scored and ranked individually. Then, these data points are combined to provide an Overall Nutrient Score. This approach makes it easy for you to not only identify which nutrients need improvement, but also provides you with a road map of what changes you can implement to make it happen.
The relative amount or activity of the microorganisms in your soil provides insight into the characteristics of your soil's ecosystem. Soil sent to our lab will be studied, identified and analyzed for the presence of beneficial and detrimental fungi, bacteria, protozoa and nematodes.
Bacteria & Fungi
Bacteria and fungi both play critical roles in the soil's ecosystem. Soil systems heavy in bacteria are associated with intensive production agriculture. Bacteria perform countless important ecosystem services in the soil. They have the ability to adapt to many different soil micro-environments and alter the soil environment to benefit certain plant communities as soil conditions change. Not only do they help decompose organic materials, but they also form micro- and macro-aggregates. Bacteria aid in tasks, such as:
- improving soil structure and soil aggregation
- recycling of soil nutrients
- water recycling
Similarly, fungi play a part in maintaining a healthy soil. High levels of fungi can be typically found in soil systems that are natural and less disturbed. Fungi retain the most nutrients and are essential in protecting the plant from disease and predators. They perform important services related to:
- water dynamics
- nutrient cycling
- disease suppression
Fungi and bacteria work in tandem to improve conditions. They are both important decomposers in the soil food web, and they convert hard-to-digest organic material into forms that other organisms can use. While fungi and bacteria each benefit the soil in their own way, most crops perform best in soils where the ratio is close to 1:1. An even balance between the two will allow for optimal nutrient cycling, and having high counts of both of them will:
- ensure the proper microorganisms are present within your soil
- improve water infiltration and storage
- make plant-soluble nutrients readily available
Soils that are low in both bacterial and fungal counts are assumed to be biologically deficient and would benefit from a variety of organic amendments.
Protozoa play an essential role in mineralizing nutrients and regulating bacteria populations. When they graze on bacteria, protozoa stimulate the growth of the bacterial population and, in turn, decomposition rates and soil aggregation. Protozoa are also an important food source for other soil organisms and help to suppress disease.
Nematodes responsible for plant disease have received a lot of attention, but far less is known about the majority of the nematode community that plays beneficial roles in soil. Some feed on the plants, others on bacteria and fungi, and some feed on other nematodes. Like protozoa, nematodes are important in mineralizing or releasing nutrients in plant-available forms. Nematode populations may also control the balance between bacteria and fungi, as well as the species diversity of the microbial community. Nematodes are identified via mouthparts and digestive organs.