Improve Your No-Till Management with Soil Health Reports

How to simplify soil health reports & identify which results have the most useful information for no-tillers

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 Many growers share the same sentiment that current soil testing methods are inconsistent, outdated and fail to accurately display soil biology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. 

Most Important Soil Health Measurements

From North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements

  • Organic Carbon
  • pH
  • Water-stable aggregation
  • Crop Yield
  • Texture
  • Penetration Resistance
  • Cation Exchange
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphourus
  • Potassium
  • Carbon Mineralization
  • Nitrogen Mineralization
  • Erosion Rating
  • Base Saturation
  • Bulk Density Capacity
  • Infiltration rate
  • Micronutrients

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

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Mackane vogel

Mackane Vogel

Mackane Vogel is the Assistant Editor of Farm Equipment, No-Till Farmer, Cover Crop Strategies and other Lessiter Media publications. An avid writer for the last 10 years, he previously served as the editorial intern for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and also wrote for several different sports journalism outlets before joining the Lessiter Media team in 2022. Mackane is a 2020 journalism graduate of Marquette University.


Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings