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Soil Quality Test Kit

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Soil Quality Test Kit Tony Ingersoll NRCS Tri-State Natural Resources Technology Team Soil Quality is: The capacity of a soil to function. It is specific to each kind ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Soil Quality Test Kit


1
Soil Quality Test Kit
  • Tony Ingersoll
  • NRCS Tri-State Natural Resources Technology Team

2
Soil Quality is
  • The capacity of a soil to function.
  • It is specific to each kind of soil, or soil
    series.

3
Reasons for Testing Soil Quality
  • To determine the existing quality of soils
  • To evaluate the effects of management practices
    on the soil
  • To determine changes in soil quality over time

4
Functions of Soil
  • Sustaining biological activity, diversity, and
    productivity.
  • Regulating and partitioning soil and water flow
  • Filtering and immobilizing organic and inorganic
    materials, including potential pollutants
  • Storing and cycling nutrients
  • Providing support for construction and
    agriculture.

5
Tests Used in the Soil Quality Test Kit
  • Soil Respiration
  • Infiltration
  • Bulk Density
  • Electrical Conductivity
  • Soil pH, Soil Nitrate
  • Aggregate Stability
  • Soil Slaking
  • Earthworms
  • Soil Physical Observations and Estimates

6
Why is Soil Respiration important?
  • It is a measure of the carbon dioxide being
    produced as a result of biological activity in
    the soil.
  • Microbiological activity in the soil is
    considered beneficial to crop health
  • Soil respiration is highly variable, depending on
    season and soil disturbance.

7
Why is Infiltration important?
  • Infiltration is a measurement of how quickly
    water enters the soil.
  • Infiltration can decrease if aggregates are
    disrupted, as is the case during tillage.

8
Why is Bulk Density Important?
  • Increases in Bulk Density may indicate increased
    soil compaction.
  • Compacted soils can restrict water infiltration,
    root growth, and reduce the air available in the
    soil.

9
Why is Electrical Conductivity Important
  • Electrical Conductivity measures the ions in
    soil.
  • This is used to measure the salt content of soils
    over time.
  • This test is most useful in soils which tend to
    salinity

10
Why is Soil pH important?
  • The pH of the soil affects the ability of the
    plant to uptake nutrients.
  • Soil pH may be modified by the use of soil
    additives such as lime or nitrogen containing
    fertilizers.

11
Why is Soil Nitrate Important?
  • Soil nitrate is essential for plant growth
  • When excess nitrates are present in the soil they
    can leach out of the soil and contaminate
    groundwater.

12
Why is Aggregate Stability Important?
  • The destruction of soil aggregates leads to loss
    of soil structure and potential erosion.
  • This test measures the resistance of the soil
    aggregates to running water.

13
Why is Soil Slaking Important?
  • This also tests the ability of the soil
    aggregates to withstand stress from water.
  • This test measures the stability of the soil in
    the face of rapid wetting of the soil fragments.

14
Why are Earthworms Important?
  • Earthworms improve soil quality by
  • increasing nutrient availability
  • decomposing organic material
  • enhancing soil porosity

15
Why are Soil Observations Important?
  • Soil development is a long term process. Only by
    observing changes in your soil over time will you
    be able to evaluate the effects of your soil
    practices.

16
Our Soil Kit Recommendations
  • After testing the soil kit, we have compiled a
    list of alternate sources for the materials used
    in the kit, as well as evaluating the tests in
    the kit.

17
Questions?
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