SGS launches a new soil microbiological analysis service, using microbial biomass and soil respiration indicators, which will help farmers to improve productivity, soil sustainability and product quality.
Increasingly, microorganisms are used in agricultural processes because of the overall positive outcomes seen from their application. The concept of "friendly microorganisms" was first proposed by Professor Teru o Higa, from the University of Ryukyus, Japan back in the 1980s, when he discussed how a recipe of different microorganisms is capable of positively influencing decomposing organic matter so that it returns to a "living" substance.
Modern agricultural practices have come to rely heavily on chemicals, however these methods are now under scrutiny, as more is understood about their links to adverse human health and the environment. On the other hand, the benefits of microorganisms are better understood and are being more commonly adopted for sustainable management of crops.
Soil analysis for sustainable farming
When determining soil quality, there are a number of different important parameters to be analyzed including the microbiological aspect. This component is an indicator of the soil's general status, with a 'good' level of microbial activity showing optimal physical-chemical conditions for the development of metabolic processes. This then acts on the organic substrates and successive crops, contributing to its fertility, and thus providing healthy, vigorous, and productive crops in the future.
To complement their existing precision farming and fertility management solutions, their laboratory is now capable of also analyzing:
- Microbial biomass and soil respiration (used as an indicator of microbial and root activity)
- Soil microbiological indicators during crop cycles
- Quality of soil resources
Further still, their service can also assess the efficiency and adaptability of microorganisms used in various biopreparations and organic products.
SGS is a global leader in precision farming and fertility monitoring for the agricultural sector and believes this new analysis service is a valuable tool to help growers improve yields, soil sustainability, and product quality.