In June 2013 Mark Redshaw (Ballance Agri-Nutrients) took soil samples for nutrient analysis by Hill Laboratories. These tests indicated nutrient levels were generally good for the crops we are planning, with the exception that soil Sulphur levels were very low. More details here>
A pit dug in May 2013 showed some evidence of deep compaction and limitations to drainage with soil mottling at about 400 – 500 mm depth. We think this is related to the historic use of the site for orcharding. While the paddock was ripped since, the depth of ripping was insufficient to deal with deeper compaction even after seven years in pasture.
Visual Soil Assessment
In September 2013, James Powrie (HBRC) and Dan Bloomer took soil samples and completed Visual Soil Assessments using the Landcare Research methodology of Shepherd et al.
The soil was relatively wet, possibly influencing the scores. Five of the six micro-paddocks showed good physical condition. Block 4 was notably poorer with clear evidence of compaction from vehicle traffic. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the Block is the first inside the gate through which all tractors and trucks enter the fields. More details here>