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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Free soil tests for farmers

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The demand for free soil testing saw the Southern Cross University email server go into meltdown as soil-conscious farmers rushed for free soil carbon tests offered by Southern Cross University’s Environmental Analysis Laboratory in conjunction with National Regenerative Agriculture Day on February 14.

Lorraine Gordon, Director of the Regenerative Agricultural Alliance at Southern Cross University said the offer attracted farmers from around Australia, from large stations to small organic landholdings and across a variety of sectors – dairy, red meat and horticulture.

‘This indicates the increasing interest among Australian farmers in benchmarking their soil carbon levels, and in soil health more generally,’ she said.

This interest is borne out in the widening client base of the Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) based at the Lismore campus.

Graham Lancaster, EAL Director and Manager, said landholders across the country can submit their soil samples to the Laboratory for fast, accurate and cost-effective analysis.

In addition to soils, the Laboratory can test plants for nutrition and micro-nutrient status. It services the gardening and nursery industry with compost, potting mix and landscape soil testing and other industries with its acid sulfate soil/rock testing and contaminant testing.

‘The Laboratory is used regularly by the water industry to test wastewater and effluent samples, as well drinking, bore, dam, spring, creek, ground subterranean and tank water,’ said Graham.

‘We routinely conduct environmental monitoring of waters for things such as metals, contamination, nutrients, salts, bacteria and algal biomass.’

EAL has operated since 1993 and is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities and is a member of the Australian Soil and Plant Analysis Council. Visit the EAL website to learn more about its services scu.edu.au/eal   

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