Soil Analysis Course


Soil is the foundation for profitable farming. There are many things that can be wrong with soil (eg. poor nutrition, chemical imbalance, structural problems such as drainage, lack of microbial life etc). Often minor and relatively inexpensive treatments can make a huge difference to productivity, but the problems need to be identified first, and that requires a solid understanding of soil theory and management practice.


10 Days

Target audience

This course is intended for various actors in the Agriculture Extension (Agricultural extension officers, senior agricultural officials and policy makers) working with communities, in governments, funding agencies, Research organizations and non-government organizations among others for Agriculture support activities and other development programmes


Register for the course

Face to Face Schedules By Location
Nairobi Schedules:
Code Date Duration Location Fees
SAC030 16 Oct 2023 - 27 Oct 2023 10 days Nairobi, Kenya KES 150,000 | USD 2,200 Register
SAC030 20 Nov 2023 - 1 Dec 2023 10 days Nairobi, Kenya KES 150,000 | USD 2,200 Register
SAC030 11 Dec 2023 - 22 Dec 2023 10 days Nairobi, Kenya KES 150,000 | USD 2,200 Register
Kigali Schedules:
Mombasa Schedules:
Nakuru Schedules:
Kisumu Schedules:
Naivasha Schedules:
Virtual Trainer Led Schedules
Contact Us on (+254) 715 077 817 / (+254) 792 516 000 or email us [email protected] for a virtual schedule.

Contact Us on (+254) 715 077 817 / (+254) 792 516 000 or email us [email protected] for E-Learning course.

Course Objectives

At the end of this IRES training course, you will learn how to:

  • Understand the properties of soil
  • Testing
  • How to manage and improve soil
  • Determine Soil problems
  • Enhance Sustainability of soils

Course Outline

Module 1; Introduction to soil analysis

Module 2; Introduction to Soils

  • Soil health and Agricultural soils
  • What is soil health?
  • Soil Composition and Formation

Module 3; Soil Classification

  • Classifying Soil Groups and Soil Landscapes
  • Soil Profiles
  • Soil Horizons
  • Key Properties of Selected Soil Groups
  • Parent Materials
  • Classifying Soils According to Hydrological Properties
  • Soil hydrology Groups: Uniform Coarse-textured Soils, Permeability Contrast Soils; Cracking Clays; Medium to Fine Textured soils

Module 4; Properties of Soils and Plant Nutrition

  • Understanding Soils
  • Mineral and Rock
  • How Soils Develop Naturally
  • Mechanical Weathering
  • Chemical Weathering
  • Geo-chemical Weathering Processes
  • Pedo-chemical Weathering
  • Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
  • Organic Carbon
  • Soil Colour
  • Texture and its Effect on Plant Growth
  • Structure and its Effect on Plant Growth
  • Consistence and its Effect on Plant Growth
  • Depth of Profile and how it Relates to Plant Growth
  • PH and Plant Growth
  • Porosity and Plant Growth
  • Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Toxicity

Module 5; Soil Testing Methods

  • Tilth and Organic Matter
  • Soil Sampling for Chemical Analysis
  • General Principles of Soil Analysis
  • Tools for Field Sampling and Soil Investigation
  • Digging a Sample Pit or Hole
  • Finding Out about your Soil
  • Settlement Activity
  • Soil Structure Activity
  • Recording Soil Colour
  • Testing Consistence
  • Describing Texture
  • Test for Free Carbonates
  • Soil pH Testing
  • Stability of Clods to Wetting (Slaking and Dispersion)
  • Bulk Density Testing
  • Measurement of Organic Matter Content of Soil
  • Measuring Salinity
  • Measuring Water Content
  • Fertiliser Solubility
  • Affect of Lime on Soil
  • Laboratory Testing of Soils

Module 6; Land Degradation and Other Soil Problems

  • Soil Structure Decline
  • Water Repellence
  • Erosion
  • Hard-Layers in Soils
  • Transient Bonding; Compaction; Cementation; and Natural Rigidity
  • Sub-Soil Compaction: Compression, shearing and smearing
  • Soil Acidification
  • Alkalinity and Sodicity
  • Water-logging
  • Salinity
  • Chemical Residues

Module 7; Soil Management on Farms

  • Conservation Farming
  • No-Tillage (Zero tillage)
  • Minimum Tillage
  • Trap Cropping
  • Cover Crops and Green Manure Cropping
  • Alley Farming (AF)
  • Contour Farming and Strip Farming
  • Controlled Traffic Farming
  • Stubble Management
  • Establishing Water and Nutrient Management Plans
  • Soil Conservation Earthworks
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Direct Drilling in Pasture Establishment
  • Soil Management in Orchards
  • Soil Management in Market Gardens

Module 8; Crops: Soil and Nutrient Requirements

  • Wheat
  • Oat
  • Barley

Module 9; Crops: Soil and Nutrient Requirements

  • Narrow-Leafed Lupins
  • Canola
  • Faba Beans
  • Grapes

Module 10; PBL Soil project - Soil Investigation and Report

  • Aim is to:
  • evaluate a range of soils for a given situation
  • determine soil problems or limitations that exist for a given land use
  • decide on suitable soil management strategies for the selected land
  • prepare and present a report

Course Administration Details:


The instructor-led training is delivered using a blended learning approach and comprises of presentations, guided sessions of practical exercise, web-based tutorials and group work. Our facilitators are seasoned industry experts with years of experience, working as professional and trainers in these fields.

All facilitation and course materials will be offered in English. The participants should be reasonably proficient in English.


Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be issued with an Indepth Research Institute (IRES) certificate certified by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).


The training will be held at IRES Training Centre. The course fee covers the course tuition, training materials, two break refreshments and lunch.

All participants will additionally cater for their, travel expenses, visa application, insurance, and other personal expenses.


Accommodation and airport pickup are arranged upon request. For reservations contact the Training Officer.

Email:[email protected].  

Mob: +254 715 077 817


This training can also be customized to suit the needs of your institution upon request. You can have it delivered in our IRES Training Centre or at a convenient location.

For further inquiries, please contact us on Tel: +254 715 077 817.

Mob: +254 792516000+254 792516010 or mail [email protected]


Payment should be transferred to IRES account through bank before the course start date

Send proof of payment to [email protected]

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