Not the same old soil sampling….

Posted by: Koenraad Duhem, Date: October 4, 2021, Read Time: 3 Minutes

When destructive droughts take hold like it has this year in Western Canada farmers must manage and make tremendously difficult in season choices to prop up revenue streams and limit expenses hoping to paddle at or above the financial waterline.  We all hope that the 2021 abnormally dry production season is a one-off anomaly, but the reality is that for some regions on the prairies this is the second and third consecutive dry year. Having a strategy going-forward in to planting 2022 that includes a contingency if this weather pattern prevails and over the course of this coming fall-winter and early spring there isn’t a replenishment of our soil moisture is critical.


The consequences of drought year(s) have an immediate impact on the soils overall health and the farms go-forward strategies. Currently the most important unknowns are the variability of the soil’s nutrients availability and health status? How much of the mineral nutrient package applied for the 2021 crop remains in the soil unused and readily available for the 2022 crop year and what are those ratios and are they at healthy levels? Droughts impact the soils nutrient status in various ways; the main effects will be the limited uptake of the NPK by the crop and reduction in leaching, but local and secondary parameters can interfere, such as a low rate of mineralization, the initial soil moisture conditions, and the occurrence of isolated thunderstorms throughout the field all of which have the potential to create significant variabilities. Droughts also dramatically affect the pressure of pathogen on the crops. The bottom line is that a reliable soil analysis and diagnosis is a critical management tool to understanding your farms soil health status. 


HumaTerra diagnosis offers the most comprehensive soil analysis available in North America. Powered by Trace Genomics we integrate the latest advancements in soil science genomics and machine learning to digitize and decode your soil microbiome ultimately providing you access to the most advanced soil diagnostics in the industry. This technology provides a unique means to investigate the most critical functions of your soil including their potential for nitrification, ammonification, denitrification P mineralization, solubilization, and carbon cycling status and dynamics which is one of the important factors in evaluating your soils water retention capacities. The diagnosis also includes a pathogen pressure panel of your soil providing infection predictability for any crop. 

TraceCHEM and TraceBIO Panels provides your farm comprehensive understanding of soil chemistry, microbial populations, diversity, pathogen predictability management knowledge and insight into your soil that has never been available until now. This provides farm-decision-makers the ability to make strategic choices on future rotations maximizing ROI on soil and crop treatments. Improving productivity and margins on every acre.

Early harvest this year will provide farm-decision-makers an opportunity to (re-)think their soil sampling strategy in order to gain this critical data.

To learn more about HumaTerra’s and Trace Genomics soil analysis program visit or contact 1-833-247-3436.

Koenraad Duhem is a co-founder and the Director of Technologies and Strategic Development for HumaTerra. He has a 20-year long experience as Scientific Director in the French dairy industry and livestock sector. Long intrigued by the fertility of pasture soils and their potential to sequester carbon, in 2016, Koenraad decided to take a sabbatical to enable him to have a closer look at how a restored soil microbiology could help farmers grow better crops and achieve better margins while improving their main asset– the land. Koenraad can be reached at