This manual is aimed at the laboratory technicians. While the manual primarily deals with soil testing, a number of important plant tests are presented, since they may complement the soil tests and are frequently needed for soil fertility and plant nutrition studies. Similarly, due emphasis is given to physical properties describing the tests routinely done along with chemical analysis. The importance of proper soil and plant sampling is highlighted. Guidelines of sample collection, processing, and storage are provided. Laboratory organization and safety aspects are presented. Also included are appendices containing information on related practiced aspects like abbreviations, conversion factors, atomic weights, solution concentrations, pH effect on soil conditions, summarized soil test methodologies, plant sampling guides, criteria for interpreting soil and plant analysis data, soil salinity, and boron toxicity interpretations.
1. Introduction; 2. Soil and Plant Sampling, and Processing — 2.1 Soil; 2.2 Plant; 3. Laboratory Facilities, Quality Control & Data Handling — 3.1 Laboratory Organization; 3.2 Lab-ortory Safety; 3.3 Quality Control and Standardization Procedures; 3.4 Data Processing; 4. Soil Physical Analysis — 4.1 Soil Moisture Content; 4.2 Particle Size Distribution; 4.3 Saturated Paste; 4.4 Field Capacity Moisture and Permanent Wilting Point; 5. Soil Chemical Analysis — 5.1 pH; 5.2 Electrical Conductivity; 5.3 Calcium Carbonate; 5.4 Organic Matter; 5.5 Cation Exchange Capacity; 5.6 Gypsum; 6. Soil Nutrients Sodium & Anion Analysis— 6.1 Nitrogen; 6.2 Phosphorus; 6.3 Potassium; 6.4 Sodium; 6.5 Calcium and Magnesium; 6.6 Carbonate and Bicarbonate; 6.7 Chloride; 6.8 Sulfate; 6.9 Boron; 6.10 Micro nutrient Cations; 7. Plant Analysis— 7.1 Nitrogen; 7.2 Phosphorus; 7.3 Macro- & Micro-nutrients by Dry Ashing; 7.4 Boron; 7.5 Micronutrients analysis by Wet Digestion; 7.6 Ferrous Analysis in Fresh Plant Tissue; 8. References ; 9. Supplementary Reading; Appendix 1. Abbreviations; Appendix 2. Conversion Factors for SI and Non-SI Units; Appendix 3. Symbols, Atomic Number and Atomic Weights of Elements; Appendix 4. Solution Concentrations; Appendix 5. Some Useful Relationships; Appendix 6. Concentration, Normality, and Amount of Concentrated Acids and Bases to Make 1-L of 1 N Solution; Appendix 7. Soil pH Levels and Associated Conditions; Appendix 8. Summarized Soil Test Methods for Fertility Evaluation of Alkaline Soils; Appendix 9. Generalized Guidelines for Interpretation of Soil Analysis Data; Appendix 10. Suggested Plant Tissue Sampling Procedures for Selected Dryland Crops; Appendix 11. Generalized Interpretation of Cereal Tissue Analysis Data; Appendix 12. Classification Criteria for Salt-Affected Soils; Appendix 13. Soil Salinity Classification; Appendix 14. Relative Salt-Tolerance Limits of Crops; Appendix 15. Relative Tolerance of Species to Boron Toxicity; Appendix 16. Mesh Sizes of Standard Wire Sieves; Appendix 17. Equivalent Weights.