Assessing Soil Health

While organic farmers have long known that healthy soils provide a wide range of benefits—reducing runoff and erosion, improving water storage and available water for plants, storing carbon, and cycling nutrients—the ability to evaluate the current state of soils has been limited. Traditional soil tests provide limited answers on soil fertility. Producers often rely on experience and intuition to determine the health of their soil. This approach can be inadequate for evaluating production decisions, organic certification, and food retails and manufactures trying to tell a story about their products. Join this workshop to learn about USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) tools to evaluate the health of soil. We’ll show you how to use a practical in-field soil health assessment tool that provides quick results that are useful, usable and don’t require lab tests. To demonstrate the approach, we will bring the farmer and field (virtually) into the classroom.