Woods End unveils Solvita Field Test to gauge soil CO2 respiration

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Woods End Laboratories released its Solvita Field Test late last week, enabling growers and crop consultants to conduct on-site evaluations of soil biology without the added expense of sending samples to a lab.

The test enables growers to obtain results with a few simple steps. The grower puts a moist soil sample into a jar, inserts a probe and lets it set for 24 hours. The tester then checks the probe's color against a color chart or with a digital color reader. The results indicate how many pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per acre the soil microbes are releasing (directly related to crop growth). From this, it is possible to estimate how much organic nitrogen and phosphorus are likely to be released from the organic matter in the soil due to microbes "feeding" on it.

Measuring soil CO2 respiration in the field has become important as a way to gauge the quality of the soil's biology, as well as a way to track how much CO2 the plants are receiving.

. "We commonly assume plants just somehow get all this from the air, but the fact is much is coming directly from soil due to microbial respiration," Will Brinton, the Solvita Field Test's inventor, said.

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Woods End Laboratories

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