1. On site consultation

The aim of an on site consultation is to:
- Problem-solve where crops are not performing or displaying symptoms of diseases or stress.
- Guide the farmer to build a solid soil foundation for anticipated crops
- Show the farmer how to ensure good yields of nutritious crops with optimum use of water, and reduced reliance on chemical intervention as a result of a minimum of disease and pest pressure.
- Cover the use of green manure crops in rotation to build soil carbon and biology, thus ensuring a healthier and more productive environment, reducing pest and disease pressure, ensuring greater availability of nutrients for the plants
- Sample soils, as well as Composts, Manures etc to establish their value as amendments before they are applied to ensure correct and adequate nutrition.
- Monitor crop development by leaf testing and Brix monitoring after soil testing and recommendations have been carried out

No decisions will be taken and no recommendations will be made without the requisite soil testing being done, soil profiles examined and chemical application history being made available.
The chemical useage history of a soil is vital if disease pressure is being experienced, as crop chemicals have a long lasting negative effect on soil resulting in diseases such as Sudden Death Syndrome. (Google for the full story)

The value of the consultation is highest where soil is tested and corrected prior to planting, thus ensuring a satisfactory result, rather than suffering a crop failure and then starting to investigate the causes.

>> Please click here for the costs of consultation, recommendations etc.

2. Soil sampling

Soil samples are taken and sent to Brookside Laboratories in the USA. Here the soil audit calculates the levels of 17 elements as well as the pH, organic matter % and Total Exchange Capacity in the soil samples. (How to take a meaningful soil sample)

These results are consistent, reliably accurate and unbiased.

Using airmail postage to the USA normally takes about two weeks and the turn-around time at Brookside is normally 48 hrs. Results are emailed to us on the day of testing.

The Brookside Laboratory fees are paid in advance along with the submission of samples.

The soil test results and recommendations are normally available within 3 weeks of sample mailing to Brookside.

Implementation of the recommendations will be done in stages depending on your budget and the extent of the corrections required to suit the needs of the particular crops to be grown.

It can take at least three years to correct a soil.
Fertilization for crop establishment is calculated separately. The nutritive value of soil nutrients needs to be known before they are applied to ensure correct and adequate nutrition. The testing of limes, fertilizers, compost and manures is also conducted at Brookside.

Please visit Brookside and look at the services provided.
All costs are to be found by clicking here.

3. In-depth soil recommendations

After receiving the audit results, Rory transfers the data into bar charts, which makes it easy to see at a glance where the current levels are, as opposed to where they should be at optimum levels. With this information, Rory works out the requirements to balance the soil.

This has to be implemented in stages depending on one’s budget and the extent of the corrections required to suit the needs of the particular crops to be grown.

It takes at least three years to correct the soil and the results are definitely worth the effort.
Building organic matter in the soil is also an important part of balancing the soil. This will feed micro-organisms allowing them to re-populate and regain natural balance. This can be done by applying manures and composts and/or planting green manure crops.
These need to be chosen to fulfill certain crop needs and grown out to a desired stage to achieve optimum balance between sugars for feeding bacteria, cellulose for sustaining fungi, and organic carbon which is stored energy in the soil. These crops are then incorporated directly into the soil, and nature will do the rest.

4. Crop monitoring by leaf analysis and visual inspection

Regular crop monitoring by visual inspection, leaf analysis and Brix testing,should be carried out to ensure that the respective crop is nutritionally on track to achieve optimum yields.

5. Advice on:

-tillage practices
-cover and green manure crops
-organic matter and crop residue management

6. Raw Material test results.