Workshops on Soil Quality Assessment and Application for Field Staff

2003 Annual Report for EW02-011

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2002: $27,590.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Federal Funds: $34,702.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $28,745.07
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Paula Jones
USDA-NRCS, Three Rivers RC&D Council, Inc.

Workshops on Soil Quality Assessment and Application for Field Staff


Research shows that farming practices have an impact on the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the soil and directly affects its condition. As new research shows more complex interactions among farm practices and soil quality our agricultural advisors and educators need to review and update their knowledge about soils and these interactions. Especially important is learning new ways to work with farmers on the evaluation of their soils so they can determine on their own how their practices are affecting the quality and productivity of the soil and the farm. This project provides training opportunities for NRCS and Extension field personnel in Idaho and surrounding states on soil quality. Participants will be able to recognize soil quality concerns, communicate those concerns to land managers and users and provide alternatives to remedy those concerns that are sustainable to the land manger and user while meeting all requirements of the agencies.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Objectives/Expected Outcomes:
1. Increase understanding of and knowledge about soil quality and how management practices affect soil quality,
2. Have access to the necessary tools and the ability to measure and document aspects of soil quality,
3. Make better assessments, correctly interpret the data and make reliable recommendations for management practices that enhance soil quality,
4. Engage and involve producers, land managers, and other agricultural professionals in the process of determining the connections between their land management decisions and the maintenance of a quality soil resource.


Two workshops have been held to date:

Caldwell, Idaho April 8-10, 2003
Twin Falls, Idaho September 9-11, 2003

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Comments from participants (from evaluation):

The soil kit was a lot of fun! Convinced me this does have value. The hands-on activities were the most helpful. The notebook was excellent. Excited to apply (this training) in field and with producers. Taking the field data, sampling and analyzing it was the most useful.