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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:27 am
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Location: Burnet County
I will try not to show my colors here but I ran across a post regarding the Texas A&M Soil testing facility - and the poster said to NEVER use A& M. I will be getting a soil test soon and planned on asking for recommendations but can someone clarify why I wouldn't use the A&M facility? The last thing I want to do is offend anyone on this board since I have learned alot from all of you that post and I do have a lot to learn...but I am an Aggie and a new Organic wanna be. :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:47 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
I cannot remember exactly what the concern is, but it has something to do with the way they break down the soil samples for testing, and then exactly what they test for.

As I recall, it concerns the mis-identifying, or masking, of certain beneficial organic compounds, based on the way they break down the sample. Hopefully someone will chime in.

In the meantime, maybe a search of the main site on 'Texas A&M" will turn up a previous show comment by Howard Garrett.

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 Post subject: Soi tests
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:16 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
Welcome, Aggie brother! It is so encouraging to see A&M folks turn to organics. You'd think with all your learnin', and really understanding the toxicity of much of what is recommended that MOST Aggies will eventually end up on our side. It's a trend I welcome with open arms! :lol:

To pursue your original question, I recall from memory that A&M uses harsh acids to determine the chemical contents of the soil, thus obliterating information that is important to LIVE soil. Honestly, I don't know much more about it than that. Feel free to fill in the blanks here.

In comparison, Texas Plant & Soil Labs uses carbon dioxide to extract & measure nutrients that are naturally available to the plant roots. Their test also measures soil texture, humus content, nitrates, free carbonates, total salts, and a couple of other things.

Does that answer your question more clearly? Hope so! :D

Kathe


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:02 pm 
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And the reason Texas Plant and Soil Lab uses carbon dioxide is that is what the plants use. When carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, you get carbonic acid, the same weak acid you find in soda water. That same reaction takes place under the soil when the roots get wet.

Whereas, if you use the stronger acids to "release" the elements to the liquid, you could easily be releasing elements which would never become available under the weaker carbonic acid in the soil.

The Texas Plant and Soil Lab has done testing on both the plants and the soils and found that when they use carbonic acid, they get a very high correlation between the soil test and the plant tissue test. But when they use the stronger acids, they don't get the correlation.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:21 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2003 9:21 am
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Location: Waxahachie,TX
First things first, welcome to organics. Now here is some information that you might find useful. Kathe and David mentioned the Texas Plant & Soil Lab so I thought it might help you if you had more information on it. Here is the link and the mailing address. :D

Texas Plant & Soil Lab

Address & Phone:

Texas Plant & Soil Lab
5115 W. Monte Cristo Rd.
Edinburg, Texas 78541
(956)383-0739

Good Luck,
Chad


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:27 am
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Location: Burnet County
Thanks to all of you for your replies. Texas Plant and Soil Lab it is! I have a lot to learn but it should be fun and I will pass along this info to anyone else I know still sending soil samples to A&M. Sounds like A&M should adapt to Texas Plant and Soil labs testing techniques.
Thanks again!

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