Alberta Soil Quality Card

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 Assessing soil quality is important in identifying potential soil problem areas and in monitoring changes in soil quality related to management practices. One way of assessing soil quality at the field level is through the use of a soil quality scorecard. A soil quality card is a tool that promotes awareness of soil quality and increases the working knowledge of soil.

The Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (AESA) Soil Quality Monitoring Program has developed and published an Alberta Soil Quality Card. It is an easy to use method to assess soil quality at the field level and is based on the producers’ knowledge of soil characteristics within their own fields. The card uses sensible, farm level indicators and descriptions to qualitatively measure soil quality. The producers can look at soil quality indicators in the field and complete a do-it-yourself quality rating system.

The Alberta Soil Quality Card can be used to identify those soil quality indicators that need improvement and consider management options to improve soil quality.

Use of this card every 1 to 5 years:
allows assessment of current soil quality conditions,

  • records changes in soil quality over time,
  • identifies potential problem areas, and
  • provides a measure of soil quality to compare fields or management practices.
The Alberta Soil Quality Card is composed of two parts:
  • The first part is an information package that describes what a Soil Quality Card is, why it should be used, how it is used and various management options to help improve soil quality.
  • The second part is the Soil Quality Worksheet, which on one side provides a section for field identification and management notes and on the other side, a section that ranks and scores the individual indicators. Extra worksheets can be printed out separately.
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Len Kryzanowski.
This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen.
This information published to the web on July 9, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 17, 2013.