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Available soil phosphate test kit field trials (AHDB/BBSRC net-zero partnership)


Background Phosphorus (P) fertilisers are vital to current agricultural production. However, recommending optimal quantities to apply to soils is a major challenge. Currently, this is done by taking a bulked soil sample that is sent to specialist laboratories for analysis, with results and recommendations for application rates returned after several days. The associated delay and expense can put off farmers. Additionally, this service is either not available or beyond the economic means of many farmers in many countries. Rothamsted Research has developed a prototype P field test kit that is robust, rapid and low-cost. Aims The primary aim of this project was to carry out user-friendliness tests of the prototype kit to: Enable modifications and improvement of the procedure, kit design and user instructions Provide evidence of the interest and usability of the field kit prior to subsequent activities to make the kit available to end-users Key findings and conclusions Most users would consider using the kit again. This work identified several improvements to improve the user-friendliness of the kit, including: Modifications to the user guide Inclusion of additional equipment Modification of the filtering system to cope with more soil types

Martin Blackwell
Rothamsted Research
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