- Define soil health.
- Understand the difference between inherent and dynamic soil properties/qualities.
- Become familiar with the nutrient cycles of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and the carbon cycle.
- Identify how different soil management strategies can affect nutrient cycling.
- Solve fertilizer calculations for given scenarios.
GOAL: To become familiar with the importance of the many aspects of soil health and understand it as the capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem.
- 8.1: Introduction to Soil Health
- Soil health is also commonly referred to as soil quality. As defined by the Natural Resource Conservation Service, soil health is “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.” This identifies the fact that only “living” things can have health, thereby stressing the concept that a soil is a living ecosystem. As with all living entities, including living ecosystems, the only way to maintain life is through proper management.
- USDA NRCS Soil Quality Test Kit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/health/assessment/?cid=nrcs142p2_053873
- NRCS employee Ray Archuleta preforming slake test and infiltration test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEOyC_tGH64 (video length 7:09)