Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368546

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Training and calibration key for accurate hand textures

item Salley, Shawn

Submitted to: CSA News
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/26/2018
Publication Date: 2/7/2019
Citation: Salley, S.W. 2019. Training and calibration key for accurate hand textures. CSA News. 64:0211.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Estimating soil texture is a fundamental skill used by scientists to classify soil based on the apparent grittiness, cohesiveness, and stickiness. While texture estimates from seasoned soil scientists are generally viewed as reliable, less is known the about the accuracy of novice soil scientists. New research in the Soil Science Society of America Journal summarizes soil texture estimates of scientists with a range of backgrounds, including a comprehensive analysis using the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) soil characterization database as well as seasonal data collectors working on rangeland inventory and assessment programs in the Western United States and in Namibia. These findings underscore the need for all scientists to practice hand texture skills against known samples and to calibrate for localized variability in soil texture.