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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Scoresheet for Interpreting Soil Quality Test Kit Evaluations

Authors
item Andrews, Susan
item Reedy, T - NRCS SOIL QUALITY INST.
item Karlen, Douglas
item Seybold, C - NRCS SOIL QUALITY INST.

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 21, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Initial evaluations of the Soil Quality Test Kit resulted in requests for a scoresheet to help with interpretation of Kit measurements. Many techniques exist for assessing soil properties that are indicators of soil quality. However, most simply describe results for individual indicators without making an overall soil quality assessment. For example, a farmer may have some indicator tests showing favorable soil quality while others are unfavorable, with no interpretation available for the "whole picture." The Scoresheet attempts to fill that void by integrating indicator test results into a quality statement about the soil as a whole, in addition to interpreting the tests individually. The Scoresheet is to be used with the Soil Quality Test Kit, which consists of in-field soil tests developed by an interdisciplinary team of scientists. Tests for the Kit can be commercially purchased or hand-made inexpensively according to Kit directions. The Kit and Scoresheet represent a semi-quantitative tool for in-field assessment of management practice effects on soil quality. Scoring of indicators depends on soil type, climate, and management practice. Scoresheets will, therefore, differ by geographic region and allow for the adjustment of indicator weights according to individual user priorities. The key here is to balance accuracy with user-friendliness. Surveys will accompany Scoresheets to obtain farmer feedback on Kit and Scoresheet usefulness and usability. Progress on the Scoresheet development and preliminary tests of accuracy and effectiveness will be reported.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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