Cornell University is now offering farmers a tool to better understand their soil; one that goes beyond the average test. The in-depth knowledge provided by this assessment gives growers tools to make management decisions that improve soil health.
“The Cornell Assessment of Soil Health is really a framework that’s based on measuring a number of indicators of soil health—physical, chemical and biological—and then using that information to help farmers make management decisions,” says Harold van Es, a Cornell soil and water management professor.
A typical soil test covers nutrient levels and pH, but the character of the soil can be incredibly important to understanding how it will hold water and fertilizers. The Cornell report includes management recommendations, ones that identify constants and help growers with soil building practices.
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has also produced a video about the importance of knowing your soil to understand its full potential.