Testing the accuracy of Soil Testing Kit® Transchem
Soil testing is key to soil fertility management as it serves as a fertilizer application guide to farmers, scientists and consultants. It gives information on soil nutrient status and its supplying capacity. Laboratory (LB) procedures have been the most reliable approach for soil nutrients analyses. However, it is costly and nonpoint. Thus, the use of in–situ testing kit emerges and becomes prominent. Notwithstanding, applicability of soil testing kit must be validated by laboratory test. This work aimed to examine the reliability/suitability of Soil Testing Kit® Transchem (SK) in determining selected soil nutrients in Sahel Savannah, Nigeria. Twentyfive replicate soil samples were collected from 12°47’86’’-12°20’96’’N and 4°38’37’’-4°188’02’’E, Kebbi State Nigeria and used to test soil pH, N, P, K and soil organic carbon (SOC) by SK and LB. The SK uses colour chart and comparator for rating nutrients status qualitatively into; low, medium and high and up to very high for P. The LB results were transformed to qualitative data by corresponding the values with soil rating standard
into low, medium and high. To perform statistics, weighting was done by assigning weight load to each category; low = 1, medium = 2 and high = 3. The two methods were compared using t-test, regression and descriptive analyses. Results showed non-significant difference between the two methods for soil contents of N, P and K. However, SK poorly estimated soil pH and SOC. Correlation and regression coefficients (r = 0.915 and R2 = 0.838, respectively) indicated reliability of the SK. It is concluded that SK can be reliably used for N, P, and K but not soil pH and SOC estimation for soils in Sahel savannah of Nigeria.