New Soil Test Now Available | Hill Laboratories - NZ

New Soil Test Now Available

New Soil Test Now Available

Date: 1 Nov 2019
Author: Hill Laboratories

We are excited to announce that a new soil test is now available. The Hot Water Extractable Organic Nitrogen (HWEON) test has been shown by research (Curtin, Beare et al, 2017) to be a good test for predicting potentially mineralisable Nitrogen (PMN) i.e. nitrogen likely to be mineralised from organic matter, that can then be taken up by crops over a growing season.

Hill Laboratories, along with a wide group of stakeholders, are supporting a SFF project (Mineralisable N to improve on-farm N management) that will include several field-trials to demonstrate the benefits of the new test and validate the preliminary research-findings. The overarching goal is to provide agronomists with a tool that can provide more confidence in the wise use of Nitrogen fertilisers for both production and environmental stewardship goals.

The HWEON test pairs well with the Hot Water Extractable Carbon (HWEC) test, as they are both carried out on the same soil extract. The HWEC test has been recommended previously as a useful indicator of soil microbial activity and soil health as it is highly correlated with microbial biomass Carbon in the soil.

Over time, the HWEON test may replace the existing Potentially Available N (AN) test – as users gain an understanding of how well the HWEON (and calculated PMN) test results relate to crop responses and as the project’s research findings are published. In the meantime, Hill Laboratories will offer the HWEON test as an add-on, and in the future hope to be able to run it by NIRS to keep it affordable.

We know these test terms can be confusing, so we will provide a more detailed explanation via our technical note library held in the client resources section of our website. 

Otherwise, please contact our Agriculture Client Service Managers for assistance.