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New soil health management manual, field guide and assessment card available

New soil health management manual, field guide and assessment card available
Materials provide information on Iowa soil management practices for farmers and agronomists.

The Iowa Soil Health Management Manual, Iowa Soil Health Field Guide, and Iowa Soil Health Assessment Card were recently published to increase understanding of soil health concepts and awareness of best management practices to protect soil health. These three publications are a collaborative effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and can now be ordered or downloaded for free at the Extension Store.

The manual, field guide and assessment card were developed as sources of information for farmers, agronomists and other agriculture professionals managing soils and to provide documentation of how different management practices affect soil.

“These publications introduce a concise and practical synthesis of soil health concepts and allow readers to link principles of soil health to actual management practices that build soil health,” said Mahdi Al-Kaisi, professor of agronomy and extension soil management specialist at Iowa State University.

The Iowa Soil Health Field Guide highlights the relationship between soil characteristics and provides information about soil health and its importance to sustainable agriculture systems.

The Iowa Soil Health Management Manual provides information about soil functions and services that are essential for sustainable agriculture systems, and the Iowa Soil Health Assessment Card includes rating descriptions for each indicator presented on the score card that represents the worst and best soil conditions at the time of evaluation.

“These educational materials explain the concept of soil health, as well as promote soil health,” said Al-Kaisi. “The soil assessment card is easy to use in diagnosing soil health field indicators and potential solutions or recommendations to improve soil health.”

Print and electronic versions of the publications are now available online at the Extension Store. The publications are free of charge; a shipping and handling fee is required for the print versions. For questions regarding the publications or information about soil health, please contact Mahdi Al-Kaisi at 515-294-8304 or

Originally posted by Iowa State University. 

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