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Healthy soils are fundamental to rural living and food production.

Australian soils are among some of the oldest and most weathered in the world.

They generally contain low levels of organic matter and if not carefully managed can erode and degrade easily under traditional European farming practices.

So it's imperative to look after the soil we have. For farmers or rural property owners soil is their most valuable asset.

It provides structural support, water and nutrients for plant growth.

Understanding soil types, applying the appropriate management practices and monitoring soil quality are all important steps in protecting and enhancing soil health.

The Soil Health Guide resources are a one-stop shop for farmers, gardeners, or those interested in soil.

They are an easy-to-use, practical guide to understanding soil types in north central and broader Victoria.

These resources provides information to help identify possible soil health issues using nine simple visual tests conducted in the paddock.

The tests are cheap and easy, and can be undertaken using home-made equipment such as wire quadrants.

Observations and results can be used to determine management actions to improve soil health and assess differences in soil health between paddocks, farms, management practices and/or growing seasons.

The Soil Health Guide online version and hard copy spells out each test for you.

Together with the soil organic carbon information and the Soil Health Score Card, it aims to complement laboratory test results, providing real-time information on a soils physical, chemical and biological characteristics.

Our Soil Health Guide videos take you through all nine tests, giving you practical hints along the way.

And our Soil Health ebook brings it all together on your desktop, computer, tablet, or phone