TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Soil Testing

IERCD offers FREE soil testing!

Poor soil health results in low production, while healthy soil increases yields and profits. It is important to monitor soil quality in order to assess the long-term sustainability of agricultural operations. Analyzing the nutrient levels in your soil can help you make educated adjustments to your soil management which saves you time, money, and effort. 

Who qualifies? 

  • Farmers within the IERCD boundaries who are either currently farming, or looking to use their land for agricultural production.

  • Community gardens within IERCD boundaries

What we test for:
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Our Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, Lucy, will go over your results with you to: 

  1. Identify the problem with your soil

  2. Explain the problem's impact on your crop

  3. Help identify the solution for healthier soil

Curious about what the soil test results look like? 

Soil fertility is determined by the soil’s biological, chemical, and physical properties. Physical properties such as soil texture, structure, and color are visible to the eye. However, it is hard to see the chemical composition of soil. Soil testing allows farmers to know their soil’s nutrient and pH levels so that informed decisions can be made on precise application of fertilizers or other amendments.  With over-fertilization being quite common, performing a soil sample can help a farmer decide what amendments they actually need to apply, saving money for the farmer and preventing excess nutrients from escaping into the surrounding environment.

Irrigation Moisture Sensors

About

Soil moisture is an important component of the atmospheric water cycle in both small agricultural scale and large scale terrestrial/atmospheric modeling. Vegetation and crops are always more dependent on moisture conditions at the root level than on precipitation. Water budgeting for irrigation planning as well as actual scheduling of irrigation activities requires local information about the moisture in the soil. The measurement of soil moisture potential at different depths can be carried out by using a tensiometer.  A tensiometer is a fluid filled plastic tube with a porous ceramic tip on one end with a vacuum gauge on the other. Tensiometers range in size from just a few inches for those used for shallow rooted crops to more than two feet for those utilized for large trees. Typically, six or twelve-inch tensiometers are used for vegetable production

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Resources
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Building Soils for Better Crops - Sustainable Soil Management 

via SARE

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Soil Biology Basics- How to Build Organic Matter in Your Soil

via NSWDPI

Contact
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Email: lsolorzano@iercd.org

Phone: (909) 285-4754

Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

LUCIA CEJA