Kenya Agricultural Research Institute SSEA Unesco-Rosta Soil and Plant Analysis Manual 2nd Edition

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Kenya Agriculture Research Institute
Soils are a natural but, for all practical purposes, a non-renewable resource and are the main source of nutrients for plant, animal and human life. Soils are highly variable and are complex with respect to physical, chemical and biological properties. It is therefore essential that we attempt to understand the nature and characteristics of soils if we are to make the most efficient use of them for increased and sustainable food and fibre production. At the same time, we have a duty to preserve the soil for future generations. This understanding has been greatly enhanced through the use of new and improved analytical procedures. For example, the atomic absorption spectroscopy technology is widely used to monitor soils and crops mainly for their micronutrient status in order to detect and prevent plant deficiencies and toxicities. Among the main objectives of the present day soil and plant analyses are: