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For each of our 7 crop groups, we calculated their average use of 6 different parameters that effect soil health: days of supplemental irrigation water, days of living cover, tons of organic matter added, number of grazing days, their tillage intensity score, and their soil Ph.
We then examined those averages to see if we could predict which crop groups would have the lowest and highest soil health scores. The graphs above show the average soil health practices for all 7 crop groups. See if you can predict which crop groups will have the best and worst soil health scores, just by looking at their relative rankings on soil health practices. Remember that you are looking for HIGH water days, HIGH days of living cover, HIGH organic matter inputs and HIGH grazing days, but LOW tillage intensity and LOW soil pH to predict the highest soil health scores. It’s just the opposite for the lowest soil health scores.
Most of the sites in the CSSHP fall into 3 main crop categories: Perennial Hay/Alfalfa/Pasture, Commodity Row Crops and Commercial Veg/Flower/Fruit. See if you can predict their relative soil health scores just by looking at their soil health practices.
Elizabeth Black is the producer of the Citizen Science Soil Health Project
The Citizen Science Soil Health Project
4340 N 13th St.
Boulder, CO 80304