Soil condition is assessed by examining visual surface characteristics. A stable soil has little evidence of surface disturbance. A healthy soil that has good soil structure will have optimal potential for soil water infiltration and a healthy population of soil microbes to cycle nutrients.
Use this table to determine the soil condition rating of each land type area in your paddocks. Look over the whole area and decide on an average rating. If only a small area of a paddock is disturbed, you might record in the notes where that is and the area’s size. Make the notes simple but descriptive enough so you can refer to them later and see whether changes are occurring over time.
|Surface description||Soil condition rating||Indicators|
|Stable||1||No visual evidence of soil movement|
|Slight disturbance||2||Soil slightly disturbed by erosion. Indicators include:
|Moderate disturbance||3||Soil moderately affected by erosion. Indicators include:
|Severe disturbance||4||Soil severely affected by erosion. Indicators include:
|Very severe disturbance||5||Soil very severely affected by erosion. Indicators are as for severely disturbed above, but more extreme.