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Our secret weapon

30/11/2006 12:00:00 AM

Bob Perry says the Albrecht soil test used by APAL delivers the optimum production and health.

Our soil test is the secret weapon of farmers and agricultural consultants,” says Bob Perry, the founder of Perry Agricultural Laboratory in the US.His lab is acclaimed world-wide for soil testing based on the methods of Dr William Albrecht, an American scientist who researched and taught soil balance.

Bob (pictured right with APAL's Bryan McLeod) regularly visits the APAL lab which is named after him. APAL is locally owned and works with Bob’s continuing assistance and expertise to provide his soil testing facilities here.

“We’ve been analysing soils for almost 30 years and in that time we have processed more than a million samples from all over the world,” Bob says.

“I still derive a great deal of satisfaction from seeing a careful, laborious process generate data that helps us diagnose soil and crop problems and guides us to economically prudent plans to improve production.”

After looking over APAL’s lab Bob said the staff at APAL did a great job of carefully handling and analysing each soil sample.

“We could use less expensive, less labour-intensive processes, but then we would not be able to produce the data that gives us an insight into how the biology, chemistry, and physics of the soil are inter-related.

“By measuring, recognising, and being able to understand the data that reflects these relationships, our reports can be used to create the most sustainable recommendations available,” Bob says.

No cutting corners

Bob’s lab in the US and APAL would not cut corners in providing their soil tests.

Bob says: “Like any good business we watch our costs and work to improve our efficiencies, but we have also resolved to keep doing things the right way.

“That makes our test and soil audit great value for farmers.”

Bob says that because of their success in helping growers, people often ask them to interpret soil tests from other laboratories.

Bob invariably turns them down.

“While we are very knowledgeable regarding agronomic challenges, we feel handicapped when we don’t have our own soil audit to assess the situation,” he says.

“Our complete test, combined with considerable experience and time in the field, is important for us to make the best recommendations.

“It can also be extraordinarily helpful to anyone interested in optimum production, and crop and animal health.

“Our test is the secret weapon, and we hope farmers will continue to make it theirs,” Bob says.