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Soil & Nutrient Management

Soil Health & Testing Activity Worksheets

(1) Soil Health Overview Worksheet
(2) Planning Soil Sampling Worksheet
(3) Costs of Soil Health Assessments Table

   What is soil health? How can I assess soil health on my farm? I'm using soil health building practices like compost, cover crops, reduced tillage. How do I tell if there are any beneficial effects in soil functioning? Where should I collect samples and when?

  These worksheets lay a foundation for starting to answer these questions, focusing on desired outcomes, relevant indicators, practical planning steps, and cost considerations.

Soil Maps & Sample Collection

NRCS Soil Web Survey 
Soil Web Survey Example
SoilWeb Interactive Map
  The NRCS Soil Web Survey is a resource that provides helpful big-picture soil data & information that can be used for general farm planning. Bear in mind results are general approximations and most useful at larger scales. 

Taking Soil Samples for Your Orchard - Video Series from UC Davis Fruit & Nut Center:
  Part 1: Who, Where, and When
  Part 2: Soil Sampling Equipment
  Part 3: Taking Samples in the Orchard
  Part 4: Preparing Samples for the Lab

Notes from farmer & soil scientist Arron Wilder (Marin county): 
Soil Sample Collection by Arron Wilder, Table Top Farms  

Soil Texture
Soil Texture by "Feel" Video
NRCS Soil Texture and Structure "Feel" Method

Analyses & Interpretation Resources

List of selected labs for soil, water and tissue analysis

Soil Fertility Interpretation
Soil Fertility Notes by Arron Wilder, Table Top Farms
Example - Soil Fertility Report from Table Top Farms
PLFA Interpretation
Example - Communicating Results of Soil Testing at Yagi Sisters Farm
Slakes App for Aggregate Stability

Soil Health Resources & Food for Thought

Soil Life Website: a great educational resource created by UC Davis graduate students.
Janzen et al. 2021, "The 'soil health' metaphor: illuminating or illusory?"
Understanding Farmer Knowledge of Soil and Soil Management - Case Study

Nutrient Management Resources

CDFA FREP's California Crop Fertilization Guidelines

UCCE Nutrient Management Lab

Soil and Fertilizers

UC ANR Compost Resources

Compost Benefits & Environmental Concerns
Assessing Compost Quality for Agriculture
CDFA's On-Farm Compost Resources
USDA's California Climate Hub, Climate-Smart Agriculture: Compost Amendments

Sonoma Compost link

Presentations from a compost workshop

UCCE Compost Program in Sonoma County  
On-Site Composting Presentation 
One Page Compost Guide
Compost Note Keeping 

Compost Regulations
Permitting Compostable Material Handling Facilities and Operations

Cornell Waste Management Institute
The Science & Engineering of Composting

compost pile