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Soil tests are an important tool for no-tillers, but oftentimes, they cause confusion. Many growers share the same sentiment that current soil testing methods are inconsistent, outdated and fail to accurately display soil biology
Vinayak Shedekar, a research scientist at Ohio State University, says one of the best ways to think about soil health is to compare it to human health.
“Soil health and human health have a lot in common,” Shedekar says. “Your height, weight and things like that are very much similar to the physical properties of the soil. Your cholesterol, lipid profile, all the blood work that we do, from a chemistry perspective, that’s very similar to traditional fertility tests.”
The way that many humans place a large focus on watching what they eat and being purposeful about nutrition is the same way that farmers should be thinking about soil health, according to Shedekar. But he also agrees that there are several challenges with how soil testing is done.
From North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements
TIER 1 MEASUREMENTS. A Soil Health Partnership project conducted over a 3-year span with over 100 soil scientists, 124 long-term ag research sites and 30 different soil health measurements at each site identified these 17 “tier 1 measurements” to focus on when evaluating soil health…