Lindsay Fennell, Aaron Ristow, Robert Schindelbeck, Kirsten Kurtz and Harold van Es
Soil and Crop Sciences Section, Cornell University
The Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health (CASH) provides a framework for measuring the physical, biological and chemical aspects of soil functioning. The assessment includes specific measurements, selected from an original list of 42 potential soil health indicators, evaluated for their relevance to key soil processes (Table 1), sensitivities to changes in management, and cost of analysis.
As a framework, CASH encompasses not only soil health testing, but also outlines field-specific planning strategies and management approaches. In 2016, the Cornell Soil Health Laboratory released the third edition of the Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health Training Manual (bit.ly/SoilHealthTrainingManual) (Fig. 1). The manual contains information on introductory soil health concepts, a detailed discussion of individual soil health indicators, laboratory procedures, a step-by-step guide to our soil health management framework, and an extensive list of additional resources.
Out of this training manual, we have developed the Soil Health Manual Series of Fact Sheets (bit.ly/SoilHealthFactSheets) to further facilitate the guide’s utility as an educational tool for growers, extension agents, and Ag Service Providers. The fact sheets are one page, two-sided handouts, designed to explain different soil health concepts and show how we measure soil health. Purveyors of soil health can easily download and print the sheets to be handed out at field days and other outreach events (Figure 2). They are available on the CASH website (http://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu/).The entire collection is also available as a booklet or “mini-manual”.
Below are links to the fact sheets that are currently available online. New handouts will be posted as they are added to the series.
For more information, please visit our website: soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu.