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Visual indicators of soil condition

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What do you see and when?

  • Yellowing or pale green colour in pastures
  • Seen in late winter to spring.

What could this indicate?

  • Deficiency in potassium, nitrogen or sulphur or trace elements such as molybdenum
  • Waterlogging, resulting in transient nitrogen loss.
  • Maturing or flowering winter grass (Poa annua)
  • Dying plants caused by red-headed cockchafer pruning plant roots.
Pictured: Flowering Winter grass (Poa annua)
Pictured: Onion grass (Romulea rosea) infected with yellow brown spots caused by Helminthosporium fungus

What test can I do to confirm?

Pictured: Potassium response in test strip
  • Soil test, with reference to phosphorus, potassium and sulphur. Tissue test for micronutrients, with attention to molybdenum.
  • Abundance of low fertility weeds and absence of high fertility weeds.
  • Test strips of nitrogen and / or potassium, sulphur and molybdenum fertiliser.


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