The Balzer Methods

A system of analytical methods of particular application to organic farming systems was created by Dr Friedrich M. Balzer in the early 1980s. The principles of his system are described in Balzer (1985), and is the methodology favoured by the Elm Farm Research Centre: also the Eco consultancy, Sustain-Ability, of Motueka, New Zealand: An explanation of Balzer's method of interpretation has been given by Otto Schmid (Schmid, 1984).

Dr Balzer (e-mail: [email protected]) has kindly provided details of the sources of his analytical methods, and they are outlined below (F.M. Balzer, Wetter, Germany, 2001, personal communication). His laboratory website is:

An English version of Balzer's advisory information and recommended levels of nutrients is found at: The soil is assessed using 14 tests, which cover physical, chemical, biological and environmental parameters, thus presenting a holistic view of the soil quality. Particular attention is given to humus dynamics and quality.

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