The Soil Health Nexus has further expanded its resources by adding two new “drawers” in their Soil Health Toolbox. The Biological Properties “drawer” and the Chemical Properties “drawer” are now published and available for use.
Soil Biological Properties represent the direct and indirect influence of living organisms inhabiting a particular soil. These properties reflect how well suited soil is to support life. Aspects of biological properties include: active and total carbon, organic matter, enzymes, earthworms, nematodes, fungi and bacteria, nitrogen fixers and a host of other living creatures.
Soil Chemical Properties represent the complex chemical reactions and processes occurring in the soils. Almost all of the chemical properties require field equipment or lab analysis for measurement. Chemical properties include: electrical conductivity, pH, nutrient content, cation exchange capacity, carbon to nitrogen ratio, base saturation, exchangeable cations, exchangeable acidity, trace elements, heavy metals etc.
Under each section, there are a number of resources that are available including current research bulletins, fact sheets, articles, research papers, curriculum, video and demonstrations that are available for use.
The entire toolbox including the physical, biological and chemical properties provides Extension Educators, Crop Advisors, Agronomists and Agency staff with the necessary soil health “tools” to learn, teach and interact with producers and landowners.
Soil physical, biological and chemical properties work together to influence the health of a soil and its ability to function as a living productive ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans.
For a one stop resource visit the Soil Health Nexus Toolbox and check out the new Soil Biological Properties and Soil Chemical properties “Drawers” that are now available.