The Importance of Soil Health for a Living Soil and Accessing NRCS Soil Information

by Tony Rolfes and Hudson Minshew | On Demand

CEUs/PDHs: (* CEU's Pending) Credits: LACES 1.25,IA 1.25,APLD 1.25,QWEL 1,NALP 1.25


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Webinar Description:
Knowing the soil type, composition and characteristics at a specific location is important to understanding the limitations and qualities of the soil. NRCS Soil interpretations are designed to warn of possible soil related hazards in an area.

NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation\'s counties. The site is updated and maintained online annually as the single authoritative source of soil survey information. NRCS Web Soil Survey provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world.

The value of soil survey information is especially important as we deal with issues such as surface and groundwater quality, crop production efficiency and farm profitability, soil and water conservation, and urban and suburban development. It is the foundation for all land use planning decisions.

As part of NRCS' website, current soil survey data and information in digital form is available to assist with analysis, evaluations, and decision- making tasks for both the professional and private citizen.

I. Soil Properties, physical, chemical and biological
II. Soil Fertility, Fertilizers and Compost
III. Accessing NRCS Soils Information
IV. Soil Health

Learning Objectives:
1. Examine soil properties important as a matrix for plant growth.
2. Understand some general principles for soil fertility and plant nutrition.
3. Learn the main principles of soil health and importance of a living soil.
4. Identify NRCS soil information available for land evaluations and planning.


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Tony Rolfes

Soil Scientist

California NRCS

Tony Rolfes is the California NRCS State Soil Scientist. Tony moved to Davis CA in August of 2015 from Hawaii where he was the State Soil Scientist for eight years. Tony has also worked in soil science with NRCS in New Mexico, Montana and Nevada. In 2014 Tony completed a detail to Haiti where he worked with the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture to build capacity by providing training to 35 Haitian Agronomists on performing soil inventories to build capacity and inform food security. As California state soil scientist Tony is responsible for technology transfer of NRCS's soil survey information. The NRCS's soil health initiative is a key component of his work where he is collaborating with partners to build a network to increase implementation of healthy soil practices in CA.

Hudson Minshew

State Conservation Agronomist

California USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Hudson Minshew is the state conservation agronomist for the California USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), located in Davis, CA. His duties include providing technical agronomic support to NRCS field employees for conservation practices that involve nutrient management, pest management, water quality, soil health and soil erosion. During his 28 year career he has worked for the NRCS in Hawaii and California, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Oregon State University, and Peace Corps, Democratic Republic of Congo.