Updated February 2, 2005
Purdue Extension

For questions regarding the content of this site contact Brent Ladd. For information on the Purdue Extension Water Quality Program contact
Jane Frankenberger, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
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Purdue Extension Water Quality Home


View a training video (17 min.) on the assembling of an on-farm soil monitoring kit and how to test soil monitoring indicators:

1. View the soil monitoring video (streaming)

(Free: plays with Windows Media Player)

2. Call toll free 1-888-EXT-INFO and ask for the Soil Monitoring Video (V-WQ-43). VHS format Cost: $10.
Field Assessment & On-Farm Soil Monitoring for Water Resource Protection

Successful farm field management includes assessing nutrient, soil, pest, drainage and irrigation management, as well as areas adjacent to fields that may be vulnerable to contamination from agricultural activities. Conducting this assessment can lead to improved field practices that better protect the environment while also increasing economic efficiency.

Combined with a field assessment, monitoring the soil can be a valuable tool to make better decisions regarding field practices. Monitoring the soil resource makes sense for financial, production, and conservation reasons. Improving and protecting the soil reduces erosion, improves water infiltration, increases the efficiency of nutrient and mineral cycles, sequesters carbon from the air which helps build soil organic matter and tilth, and sustains the soil resource for future generations and other species.

The Purdue Extension publication "Field Assessment for Water Resource Protection (WQ-42)" provides a streamlined approach that farmers and others can use to conduct an assessment. It then provides recommendations for improving field practices and for obtaining the best sources information. Farmers are encouraged to develop their own personal and confidential plan to improve their field management practices.

Print additional quick check assessment sheets

The Purdue Extension publication "On-Farm Soil Monitoring for Water Resource Protection (WQ-43)" presents quick-to-learn and easy-to-do methods for monitoring soil quality and health. Improving and protecting farm land soils is essential to water quality, as well as other natural resources such as air quality and wildlife habitat. What happens on the land, and in the soil, ultimately impacts water resources.

Print additional monitoring record sheets

For livestock, materials storage & handling, well and septic assessment go to the Farmstead Assessment page.

To order materials call toll-free 1-888-EXT-INFO and ask for Media Distribution.

For additional information or quantities of these materials free of charge for your workshop, presentation, or project contact
Brent Ladd laddb@purdue.edu