Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Getting to Know Your Soils

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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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


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