CD has wealth of soil quality advice

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COLUMBUS — Healthy soils means healthy plants, and a new Ohio State University Extension educational tool is now available to aid users in improving soil quality to boost crop performance.

The Soil Quality Workshop CD contains information outlining the fundamentals of soil quality and organic matter through various management practices, such as Integrated Pest Management. The CD educates users on the impacts of cover crops, tillage and compaction on soil quality and the benefits of maintaining healthy soils.

Users

Alan Sundermeier, an Ohio State University Extension educator for Wood County, said the educational CD might prove beneficial for a variety of users, including farmers, crop consultants, ag businesses, ag educators, Master Gardeners, Extension educators and state and federal ag agency personnel.

The CD contains lecture slides, video demonstrations of soil quality measurements and research-supported references.

“The goal of this material was to bring together a variety of educational materials that are ready to use,” he said.

Soil test kit

The Soil Quality Workshop CD also contains step-by-step instructions on how to use the Ohio State University Extension Soil Quality Test Kit. The kit, developed by Extension soil and water specialist Rafiq Islam, assesses soil organic matter for overall soil quality on-site.

“With this test, anyone can monitor the quality of their soil right in the field and measure it over time based on what management practices they’ve applied,” said Islam, a scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

“It’s not meant to replace the commercial soil tests, but it’s just another tool for farmers who can then conduct additional soil tests or consult professionals if they do have poor soil quality.”

More information

For more information on the Soil Quality Test Kit, contact Rafiq Islam at 740-289-2071 or e-mail islam.27@osu.edu.

For more information on the Soil Quality Workshop CD, contact Alan Sundermeier at 419-354-9050 or e-mail sundermeier.5@osu.edu.

The CD and the kit can be ordered online through the Ohio State University Extension eStore at http://estore.osu-extension.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2116.

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