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After 3 years in the project, a third of our growers still do not understand their soil testing results.
This table shows that in 2021 only about half of our growers fully understand their soil testing results and use this information to drive management decisions. The remaining growers prefer a different test, have found an outside advisor to assist them in management decisions, or are challenged to understand their test results.
We see greater understanding of the confidential individualized year-end reports that we send to all growers. Our year-end reports show growers how they compare with their peers on 10 important Haney and PLFA soil health indices, and three management practices. The Year-End report contains more graphics and fewer categories to decipher than soil test results. It is designed so that a grower can easily see if they fall into the top, middle or bottom of the pack. This may explain why more growers understand the year-end report than their soil test results.
Elizabeth Black is the producer of the Citizen Science Soil Health Project