Soil Health Unit

Fera has established the Soil Health Unit to improve understanding of soil management and its effects on crop health and threat control. Our work involves investigating the interactions between soil condition, crops, water and biotic stress – and the environmental factors that influence them.

Soil Health Unit
What test do I need?

If you are unsure what kind of tests you need, we can help you diagnose your crop using our plant diagnosis techniques.

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  1. Powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea)

    Powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea) is a fungal blemish disease of potatoes. A cosmetic defect with small lesions occurring in the early stages of the disease, progressing to raised pustules containing a powdery mass.

  2. Potato wash water test - Total count of soft rotting bacteria (Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp.)
    An overall count of soft rotting bacteria in potato wash water.
  3. Water Bait Test (Phytophthora and Pythium)
    Identification of Phytophthora and Pythium from water. Both are parasitic fungus-like microorganisms that cause diseases such as root rot on a wide range of plant species.
  4. Combined Test: Powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea) and Potato mop top virus (PMTV)

    Powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea) is a fungal blemish disease of potatoes. A cosmetic defect with small lesions occurring in the early stages of the disease, progressing to raised pustules containing a powdery mass.

  5. Club root (Plasmodiophora brassicae) in soil presence or absence.
    It is important to test soil for the presence of club root as the organism produces zoospores that remain in the soil for many years that can infect future crops.
  6. Strawberry red core (Phytophthora fragariae) in soil
    This test for Strawberry Red Core (Phytophthora fragariae) in soil allows for the detection of the disease in the ground before planting.
  7. Soil Bait Tests: Phytophthora (except P. Rubi, and P. idaei) and Pythium

    A bait test to identify Phytophthora (except P. rubi, and P. idaei.) and Pythium in soil. Both Phytophthora and Pythium are fungus-like organisms causing disease in a range of plants.

  8. Monitoring of Potato Cyst Nematodes (PCN): extraction from soil (400g Soil)

    An ISO accredited test for the extraction and isolation of potato cyst nematodes species (PCN) from known infested fields, as part of management practices. Identification of cyst nematodes to genus, 400g of soil.

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