Self-assessment – Soil health

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Grazing Best Management Practices and The State of Queensland.

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

This useful self-assessment guide will assist producers in improving their soil health. A great management tool that can be used to improve on farm procedures and practices. I was suprised to learn that "for long term monitoring of soil chemical properties and fertility the most useful tests are salinity, sodicity and organic carbon".

This useful guide is for producers to be able to self-assess their enterprise for the purpose of soil health. It covers a lot of information so even the most experienced producers should be able to gain some tips to assist in their own enterprise.

Items covered in this article were:

  • Soil physical properties
  • Soil chemical properties
  • Soil biology
  • Fertiliser use

Key points were as follows:

  • The physical properties of soil include soil structure, soil type and soil erosion. It’s important for producers to understand the soil properties within their enterprise to assist them in making land use and grazing strategy decisions. The self-assessment checklist for soil physical properties can be found on page 6 – 7.
  • The chemical properties of soil include soil nutrient supply, salinity and soil pH. A method commonly used for soil assessment is a soil test which provides levels of nutrients to give producers an idea of the soil health. The self-assessment checklist for soil chemical properties can be found on page 9 – 10.
  • Soil biology is made up of several components that keep the soil healthy, producers can maximise returning organic matter to the soil by growing pastures. The self-assessment checklist for soil biology can be found on page 12.
  • Fertiliser use is common in some areas where soil is lacking essential nutrients to produce successful growth. Soil tests regularly carried out by producers is generally the indicator that leads to the use of fertilisers on farm. The self-assessment checklist for fertiliser use can be found on page 13 – 14.
2014 - Australia - Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Grazing Best Management Practices and The State of Queensland.
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