Soil testing for nutrient analysis (standard soil testing) has a rich history and many available resources in Ohio. But an increasing number of farmers are interested in overall soil health, which incorporates chemical, physical, and biological soil properties. Science and testing resources for soil health is still under development in many ways.
On January 21, as part of the 2021 Soil Health Winter Seminar Series, we will be discussing soil health tests and how you can apply this information on the farm.
While many cultural practices are considered good for soil health, farmers need to be careful about taking a one-size-fits-all approach to soil health management. Just because something works on your neighbor’s farm, doesn’t mean it’s right for your soil health management plan.
In fact, it’s challenging to generate a list of ‘recommended’ measurements across all fields. Farmers have different goals for soil health depending on their overall farm goals, soil conditions, and personal priorities.
Soil testing is a key to evaluating how current and new practices are impacting soil health on individual fields. During this session, we will talk about laboratory tests and field tests currently available, as well as emerging tests that our lab has been studying.
Specific topics will include
* Benefits and limitations to total organic matter, Solvita, and other currently available laboratory tests
* Specific testing trends or values to look for
* How long it take to notice changes in soil health metrics
* Additional resources for understanding soil health testing
“What Can Soil Health Tests Tell You?” is part of the Soil Health Winter Seminar Series. Each session begins at 8 a.m. Attendance is free, but participants must register in advance. For more information and to register, visit: go.osu.edu/soilhealth2021. CCA CEUs are available.