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Getting to Know Your Soils

By   /  June 16, 2017  /  1 Comment

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Your soils are the foundation of your success. So knowing a little bit about them is a good way to adjust your management to make the most of what you’ve got.

Let’s start with this great tool from the Natural Resources Conservation Service: the Web Soil Survey. It’s the largest soil data base in the world and it’s literally at your fingertips. It can tell you what soils you’ve got and what kind of production you can expect from them. Here’s how to use it:

Soil pH is one of the bits of information you get with your soil test. Here’s what it does for you and why you should manage for the right pH:

Finally, soil testing is one of the best ways to find out what your current management is doing to make your soils the best they can be. Since most folks think that gathering material for their soil test isn’t much fun, we decided to change that with these special instructions. Enjoy!


Want more?

Your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office has folks with expertise in soils and soil health. They can tell you more about what your soils are like and how you can work with and improve them. They can also help you with Conservation Planning – a plan for conserving your resources and making the most out of them – and their help is free! You can find your nearest office here. Give them a call. You’ll be glad you did!

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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

1 Comment

  1. Awesome and timely!

    The USDA’s Soil Survey Manual just showed up in my inbox…

    Check it out here: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/soils/ref/?cid=nrcs142p2_054262

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