Electrical Conductivity (EC) / Salinity Meters
Knowing the EC of your soil is a useful and simple precision agriculture technique. Knowing the EC of your soil will help with your fertilizer decisions and knowing what quantity of available nutrients are in the soil.
Conductivity meters measure the number of ions that are mobile within a liquid and is considered the most accurate way of determining the salinity of the soil which is indicative of the ability of the soil solution to carry an electric current.
Because plants take in nutrients in ion form e.g. nitrogen ions, phosphorus ions and potassium ions (NPK), measuring a soil solution is a good indication of the total mount of nutrients available to the plants (although not the specific nutrients).
EC measurements below 100µS for example may indicate not enough nutrients for the plants whereas numbers greater than 1000µS may indicate that there is pollution entering your soils and high salts accumulating that can cause plant rootlets to burn and microbes to die.
EC meters can be used for a variety of other purposes too:
- To determine the quality of water, high quality distilled drinking water will ideally have
- The concentration of liquid fertilizers in your spray bottles. Dilute liquid fertilizers with water to a consistent EC level to get the same consistent concentration levels each time.
- Use to test the maturity and quality of compost.
- To measure the ions in plant leaves. Theoretically as nutrients are converted to sugars in the leaves, we may expect to see the EC levels go down as Brix levels rise (sugars and dissolved solids as measured by a refractometer), leaf EC should be between 2,000 - 12,000 µS.
- Some people even use it to measure the amount of salts in their own urine and saliva.
All our EC testers listed have ATC (Auto Temperature Compensation) which removes errors caused by temperature variance. All EC testers require calibration solution for proper calibration prior to testing.