Soil analysis service for fertilization recommendations

Soil analysis is a fast and economical medium that serves as technical support to recommend fertilizers and amendments in most economically important crops.

Soil samples should be taken and sent in the shortest possible time to the Chemistry laboratory located in the Experimental Station of Cenicaña, Via Cali-Florida km 26. San Antonio de los Caballeros, Florida, Valle del Cauca. Tel. (602) 524 66 11, ext. 5149.

How to take soil samples?

Soil samples should be taken with sufficient time for processing in the laboratory, especially in batches that will be renewed. Samples should be taken 20-30 days in advance of the scheduled sowing date. In soca cane crops, meanwhile, samples can be taken immediately after harvest. The results of the analysis can be used to give fertilizer recommendations for a maximum of three consecutive cuts. The sample must represent an area of ​​up to 10 hectares.

To take it you need the following tools and materials: A hole or a pin, a bucket, plastic bags, a pen and paper to mark the samples.

  1. It is recommended to take between 15 and 20 subsamples to obtain a composite sample of soil for each association that makes up the luck or the board. It is important to note that the detailed soil study should be used to identify the associations and therefore the area to be sampled on each fate or board.
  2. At each site take the subsamples in the center of the entresurk and next to the groove. Do not take subsamples at sites with sandy patches, flooded or debris lands, areas near irrigation or drainage canals, or in places where cachaza or ashes have been piled up.
  3. If you take the sample with a hole, insert it up to 20 cm deep, remove the soil and remove the upper and lower sections to place only the central part in the bucket.
  4. In case of using a skimmer, clean the surface of the floor and insert the skid to make a hole in the shape of a “V” 20 cm deep; take a 2-3 cm thick slice of soil on one of the oblique sides of the hole, discard the edges and select the middle part of the slice; put it in the bucket. Repeat the operation at each site.
  5. Finally, mix all the soil that is in the bucket and take out about a kilogram to place it in the plastic bag. Close the bag and mark it with the following data: Sampling date, name of the land association, the luck (s), the farm and the related ingenuity. Take the sample to the laboratory with the corresponding form.

Methodologies for soil analysis

  • pH: Determination by potentiometric method.
  • Electrical Conductivity (CE): Determination by Conductivimetry of the saturation extract.
  • Organic Matter (MO): Wet digestion (Walkley-Black). Determination by colorimetry.
  • Phosphorus: Extraction by Bray II. Determination by colorimetry.
  • Interchangeable cations (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium): Extraction with ammonium acetate, 1N, pH 7. Determination by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
  • Minor elements (iron, copper, manganese and zinc): Extraction by Mehlich I or double acid. Determination by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
  • Boron: Extraction with hot water. Determination by colorimetry (Azomethina-H).
  • Sulfur: Extraction with calcium phosphate. Determination by turbidimetry

How are samples received in the laboratory?

To use the soil analysis service in the Cenicaña Chemistry laboratory, the user must request an appointment in which he will deliver:

  • Soil samples.
  • The Request Form for Soil and Leaf Tissue Analysis Services completed to:
    - External customer: Download 
    - Internal customer: Cenicaña staff only
    (Fill in the two tabs of the downloaded file: Request and Sample List)

    and if required, the Request for Analysis form for fertilizer recommendations (DP.PF1.2-P01-F03)

  • Copy of the consignment or payment receipt (Bancolombia Savings Account No. 3068-7171-376)
  • Copy of the updated Single Tax Registry (RUT) certificate.

Note: The Cenicaña Chemistry laboratory will only receive the samples that are delivered with the respective form (s) completely filled out.

The soil samples are received in the Chemistry laboratory located in the experimental station of Cenicaña, from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.


Service value by type of analysis

It includes the determinations of texture, pH, organic matter (MO), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sodium (Na). As an optional analysis (the customer must specify in the application if desired) for soils with pH below 5,5, the exchangeable acidity must be determined to know the exchangeable aluminum content.

Cost per characterization analysis: $62,820
Cost for each determination: $15,120

It includes the elements of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and boron (B).
Cost for minor items: $73,460
Cost for each item: $15,630


It includes the characterization analysis plus the determinations of the minor elements.

- Sulfur (S): $15,120.
- Cation exchange capacity (CEC): $15,120
- Electrical conductivity (CE): $15,120
- Soluble: pH, potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na) $62,830
- Labile carbon (CL) $22,680

All prices are effective as of January 1, 2023. Estimated time for delivery of results: fifteen (15) business days from receipt of samples.


Chemistry Laboratory.
Telephone: (602) 524 66 11 - ext. 5149

Telephone: (602) 524 66 11 - ext. 5146