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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Health: Your Family’s and Your Farm’s Future

Authors
item Kennedy, Ann
item Stubbs, Tami - WASHINGTON ST UNIVERSITY
item Hansen, Jeremy

Submitted to: Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2005
Publication Date: January 20, 2005
Citation: Kennedy, A. C., Stubbs, T.L., Hansen, J.C. 2005. Soil health: Your family’s and your farm’s future. In: The Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Conference Proceedings. Jan. 12- 14, 2005. Spokane, WA. p. 56-72.

Interpretive Summary: The soil on your land is your farm’s and family’s future. Soils contain the nutrients that sustain the crops that feed the world. Conservation practices are a way to increase and sustain the source of these nutrients. When the condition of the soil is poor or has been eroded away there are less nutrients and life to support crops. There is a great value in long term monitoring of soil quality components. We have found that although we may not always see a direct and immediate benefit of certain management practices, it is important to work toward improving your soil through conservation practices. Over time the results of applying soil building practices will become evident and thus become a part of the future of your farm and your family. We have found that a native area, fencerow or a corner of a field can be used as a good baseline comparison. Soil quality measurements can help in characterizing soils on your farm and track changes in soil quality over time. Soil quality measurements can be a valuable tool to monitor the health of our soils. These measurements can demonstrate effects of management practices on soil and aid in decision making. These comparisons of management practices can be used by growers, field personnel and scientists to illustrate changes in land productivity to growers, landowners and landlords.

Technical Abstract: Soils contain the nutrients that sustain the crops that feed the world. These nutrients are money in the bank from which your crops draw. Conservation practices are a way to increase and sustain the source of these nutrients. When the condition of the soil is poor or has been eroded away there are less nutrients and life to support that crop. Though you may not always see a direct and immediate benefit of certain management practices it is important to work toward improving your soil through conservation practices. Over time the results of soil building practice will become evident and thus become a part of the future of your farm and your family. Soil quality measurements can help in characterizing soils on your farm and form a baseline or reference against which you can track changes in soil quality over time. These measurements can demonstrate effects of management practices on soil and aid in decision making.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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