All living things require energy to live. Knowing the amount of energy in the soil, whether there is too much or too little, can help us understand when plants are living in a detrimental environment. Energy testing provides clues as to what the nature of the problem may be, particularly as part of a comprehensive series of tests. Soil electrical conductivity, which is known as EC, is the ability of soil to conduct electrical current. Although EC is used largely to measure soil salinity, EC measurements also have the potential for estimating variation in some of the soil physical properties where soil salinity is not a problem.
What can be learned from E.C. Testing:
•Salinity Level – high salt levels damage or kill plants
•Porosity – degree of compaction
•C.E.C. - Cation Exchange Capacity
Plant growth depends on the quantity of mobile ions measured in a soil / water extract. This measurement is also called ERGS, or Energy Released per Gr am of Soil. ERGS should be kept between 40 - 400 μS. EC is expressed in milliSiemens per meter (mS/m), which equals 1,000 μS/cm, or μS. The 4-Ring potentiometric probe type is more accurate & reliable throughout the entire range than the 2-Ring amperometric type. Temperature also effects EC testing. The best meters include Auto Temperature Compensation, known as ATC.