Monitoring of agricultural soil fertility by laboratory analysis.
The objective of this work was to monitor the properties of soils in the Panamanian provinces of Herrera and Los Santos and in villages of agricultural importance, through the study of the results of soil tests conducted over the past 21 years in the Soil Laboratory of the Agricultural Research Institute of Panama. The main characteristics of soil samples belonging to each one of the 7 districts from both provinces and some towns where information was available for the study were monitored. Data were compared through the years, such as: pH, organic matter, aluminum saturation, base summation, availability of phosphorus, and micronutrients. In each case, the average results of 10 years were considered. The districts of Las Minas, Santa Maria and Macaracas and the villages of Chupá, El Chumical and Los Remedies, presented acidification, poor organic matter content in the topsoil and high aluminum saturation, characteristics that make these areas more vulnerable to degradation of their soils.
Keywords: soil analysis, macro and micronutrients, soil properties, soil degradation.