Competency Area 4: Soil health and compaction
PO 27. Understand the concept of soil health, and know some indicators.
Soil health (also called 'soil quality') is "the capacity of a soil to function, within ecosystem and land use boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality and promote plant and animal health" (Doran and Parkin, 1994). Soil health is an aggregate concept affected by chemical, physical and biological factors.
Total organic carbon, total organic nitrogen, pH, mineral N, available P, K.
Soil texture, depth of soil and rooting, soil bulk density and infiltration, water holding capacity, water retention, water content, soil temperature.
Microbial biomass C and N, potentially mineralizable N, soil respiration, biomass C/biomass ratio.
Fertile topsoil (Clarion)
Photo courtesy of NRCS
- Competency Area 1: Basic soil properties
- Competency Area 2: Soil hydrology AEM
- Competency Area 3: Drainage and irrigation AEM
- Competency Area 4: Soil health and compaction
- Competency Area 5: Soil conservation AEM
- Competency Area 6: Watershed hydrology AEM
- Competency Area 7: Non-point source pollution AEM
- Competency Area 8: Concentrated source pollution AEM
- Competency Area 9: Conservation planning AEM