25Jun/19

How can animal manure help my soils be healthier and more productive?

The purpose of this article is to explain how manure application can help improve your soil health and productivity. It is easier to understand soils when we split their characteristics into their chemical, physical, and biological properties. However, these property classes are part of a whole system and are all important.

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03Jun/19

Understanding Farmers, Educators, and Agency Staff’s Perceptions of Soil Health

Over the past decade, there has been significant research aiming to better understand the biophysical processes and indicators of soil health. Significantly less research however, has been dedicated to understanding people’s perceptions surrounding soil health. To help address this research gap, the Soil Health Nexus team conducted a survey to better understand how different audiences define soil health, growers’ perceived barriers to adopting soil health practices and resource needs for teaching soil health.

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25Mar/19

Soil Health Not Just a Trending Topic

Many of us take the soil we stand on for granted, including myself. I mean, it’s everywhere – especially on my carpet with 2 boys in my house. However, without soil, we can’t grow crops. Farmers know that soil is a critical part of farming, and making sure that soil can continue to grow crops for many years to come is at the forefront of every farmer’s mind – sometimes without even realizing it.

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28Feb/19
Dry crusted soil

Soil Health Nexus debuts new soil health resource

The Soil Health Nexus team is making it easier than ever to access valuable soil health information through their newly released Soil Health Toolbox. To date, the team has released resources on conducting on-farm-research that incorporates soil health, and is working on resources on 1) how soil health impacts water quality and flow through the landscape, and 2) understanding and measuring soil’s physical, chemical and biological properties.

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04Jan/19

Getting to the Science of Soil Health: USDA Releases Standard Indicators and Laboratory Procedures to Assess Soil Health

The enthusiasm for the soil health principles in some cases has gotten ahead of the science behind them. To address this, NRCS and the Agricultural Research Services (ARS) lead a diverse group of technical experts in selecting methods to assess six standard soil health indicators, which focus on key physical and biological process that must function well in healthy soils. The document titled “Recommended Soil Health Indicators and Associated Laboratory Procedures”, Technical Note No. 450 (PDF) was developed by a group of experts and provides information getting us closer to understanding the science behind soil health and how it is best measured.

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01Nov/18

Building Soil Organic Matter Takes Time

Our “instant” culture gravitates to testimonials about how to rapidly increase soil organic matter by 1% within 1 to 3 years. Conversations with lenders and landlords regarding rewards on manure applications and multi-species cover crops investments would likely be easier if financial rewards or measured soil physical properties came quickly.

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