Scroll down to view the Soil Health Card videos and download the Soil Health Cards
This Northern Rivers Soil Health Card was developed for the Northern Rivers Region of NSW as an extension activity of the Good Soil Project and the Good Worm Project I, joint undertakings of Tuckombil Landcare Inc and NSW Agriculture in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust.
The card was originally developed through a series of workshops held at Wollongbar TAFE in 2002. Primary producers representing a range of industries and one urban gardener attended the workshops. The process was facilitated by staff of Wollongbar TAFE and NSW Agriculture. The aim was to develop a practical tool that all landholders in the Northern Rivers Region could use to monitor the health of their soils. As the core of the card, the team came up with a list of 10 straight forward visual tests that require simple equipment and can be carried out by one person in the field. In 2007 farmers from the macadamia and coffee industries adapted the Northern Rivers Soil Health Card for their specific use. Farmers from the vegetable industry and sub-tropical tree crops (perennial horticulture) adapted the Soil Health Card for their use in 2008. The Coastal Grazing SHC was adapted later that year. Farmers and facilitators who worked on the various versions are listed on the individual cards.
The soil health card lists the 10 tests and provides space for you to rate your own soils after carrying out the tests. By testing regularly and keeping the cards, you can build up a record of your soil health, and understand the effect of management practices on soil health.
Regular testing will show improvements in response to more sustainable management such as use of mulch in orchards, or minimum tillage in crop rotations, and allow early detection of developing soil problems. Test results can also be used as the basis for discussion about management changes with other landholders and with agricultural advisers.
This card is not intended to replace soil testing that you may already carry out. It is another tool to help you understand your soils and their productivity. Maintaining soil health in the short term will undoubtedly increase the sustainability of farming into the future.
Download the Northern Rivers Soil Health Cards below.