A presentation by Rick Haney of the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health.
The session covered basic soil health principles necessary to build soil health, such as minimizing soil disturbance, keeping the soil covered at all times, growing a living root all year long, and using plant diversity above ground to increase diversity below. It also reviewed soil health testing procedures.
Explanation of Haney Soil Test
The Haney Test is a dual extraction procedure that allows the producer to assess overall soil health. The test is used to track changes in soil health based on management decisions. This test examines total organic carbon and total organic nitrogen to determine a C:N ratio used to make general cover crop recommendations. This test also includes the Solvita CO2 Burst Test to look at microbial activity and potentially mineralizable nitrogen. The weak acid (H3A) extraction represents some available plant nutrients.