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How Alive is My Soil?
This guide presents soil testing methods that can be performed in the field by farmers, gardeners, or anyone who desires to understand and appreciate soil from a different perspective. While these tests aren’t intended to be a replacement for sending soil to a lab, they can be considered complementary to annual or biannual lab analysis.
Farming with Soil Life
This handbook, created by The Xerces Society, dives into soil biology. It provides a connection between healthy soils and healthy invertebrates found in temperate agricultural soils. The publication starts with a review of soil basics, including the functions, classifications and properties (physical, biological and chemical) of soil. It provides detailed methods on how observe soil […]
Cornell Soil Health Assessment
The Cornell soil health assessment was created to help farmers develop appropriate management solutions to build healthy soils. Focusing on soil health helps improve productivity, reduces the need for external inputs, and increases a farm's resilience to extreme weather events.
Agricultural Conservation Leasing Guide
This bulletin, authored by Sarah Everhart of the University of Maryland Francis K. Carey School of Law, provides guidance to farmers, landowners and agricultural service providers interested in lease agreements to help implement stewardship planning and conservation practices on leased land. The publication describes many popular conservation programs and considerations for how they might be […]
Spiders Provide Conservation Biological Control on Farms
Spiders were the focus of a Northeast SARE Graduate Student Research Grant project conducted by University of Maryland student Dylan Kutz. Kutz was interested in studying these undervalued yet important sources of natural insect control. He said, “Spiders are the most abundant natural enemy that occur in most agroecosystems and are estimated to globally consume […]
Native bees and flowering cover crops
While managed colonies of European honey bees are most frequently used for crop pollination, wild or native bees commonly provide the same pollination services for ‘free’ without the costs of renting or maintaining honey bee hives.
Tackling the Thorny Issues, Linking Practitioners
As the ranks of organic farmers swell in America, so does the need for answers to tough problems in organic agriculture. For example, how can weeds be controlled without soil-eroding tillage? How can risk be minimized? How can farmers learn from one another? Thanks to researcher/educators like Anu Rangarajan of Cornell University, new and transitioning […]