DEVELOPMENT OF SOIL TESTING IN THE NETHERLANDS

Ir. J. van der Boon
Soil testing methods as a basis for fertilizer recommendations have been developed at the Institute for Soil Fertility in The Netherlands by means of one-year field experiments, long-term fertilizer experiments and pot experiments. The one-year field experiments, normally conducted with one crop in a series of trials on one soil type (replicated over years to evaluate the effect of weather), have given the most direct information for evaluation of the soil analysis figures under normal field conditions. In the long-term experiments the nutritive needs of various crops can be compared and the changes in nutrient content of the soil under influence of continued yearly fertilizer dressings of different magnitude can be studied. In the pot experiments the influence of different factors on the response of the plant to a certain nutrient element can be studied under constant ecological conditions, e.g. a comparison can be made of different textural classes of the soil, different water regimes, etc.

In the one-year field experiments the sites of the field trials must be selected carefully. Information from earlier experiments can give an idea which factors could influence the response of the crop to the nutrient. Thus for potassium, the availability to the crop depends on the potassium status of the soil, but also on its exchange capacity and the lime status. Therefore the trial fields must be selected in such

van der Boon, Ir. J. (1973). DEVELOPMENT OF SOIL TESTING IN THE NETHERLANDS. Acta Hortic. 29, 105-124
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.29.7
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.29.7

Acta Horticulturae