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Soil Analysis Methods

A Comparison of Soil Analysis Methods and a Potentially new Method (VSAO)

June 2021

Acknowledgements: James Lovelady - SJV Agronomy

Valley Tech Ag Lab

Robert Oppold – ISTRC Dr. David York – Tournament Turf Solutions T Eden – HCT, LLC The interpretations and opinions expressed herein are by HCT alone.


One of the most significant things only a few of us in the field of agronomy have seen about soils is scientifically revealed.

We’ve all relied on analytical chemistry and soil science laboratory techniques to guide us to soil health maintenance and vegetation vitality. We’ve relied on water analysis as well, the combined water and soil interpretations and recommendations from a host of professionals, experts, agronomists, Universities and Professors.

As HCT continues their journeys of asking “Why”, this discovery came forth and from what we see, and have heard from our dialogues with industry professionals, it’s yet another gamechanger on the analytical side of agronomy.

In previous newsletters we’ve explained the soils analyses methods of Saturated Paste Extracts (SPe) with lab water, versus using treated water. We’ve noted this is commonly referred to as “available” nutrients. We’ve explained the Ammonium Acetate / DTPA (AA/DTPA) exchangeables, commonly referred to as the “exchangeable” nutrients in the soil – there within the soil but not being released by the lab water or treated lab water, only by stronger solutions. If you look back at the many "CEC" soil analyses using the AA/DTPA or Mehlich methods, you’ll see the numbers of the less soluble elements increase month over month, year over year, exhibiting saturations of the nutrients (and toxins) in the soil, hindering “infiltration” – as well as the availability to move water, oxygen and nutrition to the plant through the soil. All of this leading to stifled crop vitality, higher operating costs and lower yields. Usually the more soluble elements/products, and most to solubilize in water regardless of concentration are sodium, nitrogen and zinc.

Mehlich III (Mehlich) analyses helped us see more what is in the soil over and above the “available” and the “exchangeable” methods.

What if we take it a step further, from water, then treated water, from AA and DPTA to Mehlich, and from Mehlich to perhaps an even greater solute such as HCl, Nitric and H202, or HCl and H2SO4, or HCT’s WaterSOLV™ Curative and BC?

This data is from the Hydrochloric Acid, Nitric Acid & Hydrogen Peroxide. Other solutions have demonstrated worse as well as better results in exhibiting the saturations.


While we don’t like to invoke our own opinions, this clearly shows that we have not been seeing what’s in our soils. The exchangeable analyses are meager at best. These saturations can and do hinder infiltration, drainage and pore space of which can harbor and propagate toxicity and rancid biological conditions, which can also decrease the vegetations pest resistance. Saturated soil conditions exhibit hard soils, poor rooting, oxygen deficiencies, and poor nutrient uptake. In additional studies, some published, some not published yet, we typically find the essential elements of Ca, Fe and Al complexed, insoluble, and restricting, therein causing toxicity. These are real life examples of what NCRS/USDA refer to as “saturations of nutrition can lead to toxicity”.

WaterSOLV Curative and WaterSOLV BC were found to liberate more of the elements than all other products tested, actually revealing paint pigment that were presumably attached to oxalates.

The ability to identify the culprits, to take the proper corrective action, liberate the complexes, control the saturations and pore space, cost effectively and sustainably, while maintaining vegetation vitality, lead to predictable and uniform results for what we know is improved and perhaps optimum results – the management of available nutrition, biofilms, oxygen, infiltration, pore space as well as sustainability and environmentally sound, all matter. Soil Health! The impacts are significant in higher efficiencies, greater deliverables including vegetation quality, yield and at lower costs.

First Set of Graphs (4)

Golf Course Green – Midwestern USA

  1. Multiple depths.

  2. Each depth analyzed by traditions means.

  3. Each depth analyzed by the HCl, Nitric and H2O2 (VSAO1).

Second Set of Graphs (4)

  1. Golf Course Green – Midwestern USA

  2. Multiple depths.

  3. Each depth analyzed by traditions means.

  4. Each depth analyzed by the HCl, Nitric and H2O2.

Third Set of Graphs (2)

  1. High Mountain Country, Central Valley California

  2. Top Tier Sports Field

  3. Analyzed by traditions means as well as by the HCl, Nitric and H2O2

  4. Inner Turf and Outer Turf Graphs



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