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Thread: Soil: How to convert the EC/pH of 1:2.5 soil-water extract to the soil's actual EC/pH?

  1. #1 Soil: How to convert the EC/pH of 1:2.5 soil-water extract to the soil's actual EC/pH? 
    New Member
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    Mar 2019
    The main question is how to get the closest estimation of the soil EC and pH when only the EC/pH of a 1:2.5 mL soil-extract is known.
    I took 8 soil samples (4 places, one more shallow and one more deep) and had them analysed in the lab. Now, however, I am having trouble with the interpretation! I am hoping to get some help and would be very grateful!!

    My main question is: how to get the closest estimation of the actual soil EC and pH?

    - In some articles I read that it is impossible to retrieve an accurate estimation of EC from a soil-water extract, it should therefor only be used to compare sample between each other, NOT to determine the actual soil EC and pH. Is this correct?

    - In a few forums I have found that it is best to simply multiply the extract EC by the ratio. In this case 2.5. This would bring it to a 1:1 ratio, which would be closer to the saturated paste method, which is a more accurate method to determine actual soil EC. However, in other places are read that this is still inaccurate. Which is true?

    - Before I dive any deeper into the world of soil-water extract pH interpretation. Is there anybody who knows how it works to get the best approximation of actual soil pH?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Kind regards,
    A non-soil student who now is becoming a soil enthusiast!

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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore
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    Jan 2019
    The conductivity (EC) can be measured and the pH can be measured. I do not know why you only have the ratio of EC/pH. Could you explain a bit more about the testing method?

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  4. #3  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Maybe I'm wrong but unless the soil extract is kept in air-tight conditions the pH will change as the extract absorbs CO2 from the air. Maybe the EC/pH ratio is a way of accounting for this as dissolved CO2 will also change the EC.... I'm not a soil science guy so this is guesswork...
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