The Soil Quality Test Kit Guide describes procedures for 12 on-farm tests, an interpretive section for each test, data recording sheets, and a section on how to build your own kit. The NRCS does not build or sell soil quality test kits. Test kits can be purchased from Gempler's or Murray FFA in Murray, Iowa.
For an abbreviated and economical build-your-own Soil Quality Test Bucket and associated Soil Quality Kit - Guides for Educators, visit Soil Quality for Educators.
(Disclaimer: Trade names are used solely to provide specific information. Mention of a trade name does not constitute a guarantee of the product by the U.S. Department of Agriculture nor does it imply endorsement by the Department or the Natural Resources Conservation Service over comparable products that are not named.)
Cover (PDF, 120KB) - Includes the table of contents, acknowledgements, and preface
Section I - Test Procedures
Section I contains step-by-step instructions for running each of the tests included in the Soil Quality Test Kit. It is fully illustrated with photos to show the procedures and equipment needed to complete each step. Appendix D includes instructions for building a test kit.
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Herrick, J.E., W.G. Whitford, A.G. de Soyza, J.W. Van Zee, K.M. Havstad, C.A. Seybold, M. Walton. 2001. Soil aggregate stability kit for field-based soil quality and rangeland health evaluations. Catena 44(1):27-35.
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Seybold, C.A., R.P. Dick, and F.J. Pierce. 2001. USDA soil quality test kit: Approaches for comparative assessments. Soil Survey Horizons 42(2):43-52.
Seybold, C., M. Hubbs, and D. Tylor. 2001. On-Farm Tests Indicate Effects of Long-Term Tillage Systems on Soil Quality. J. Sustainable Agric. 19(4):61-74.