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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 16 No. 3, p. 307-309

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A Soil Productivity Score Card1

  1. K. C. Berger,
  2. F. D. Hole and
  3. J. M. Beardsley2



A soil productivity score card has been designed so that any careful agricultural worker can obtain reasonably reliable ratings for individual fields and farms in Wisconsin. The only tools required are a soil sampling tool, leveling device to approximate slopes in percent, sampling bags, and the Soil Productivity Score Card.

The ratings indicate relative current capacities of fields to produce crops, and are adjusted to a possible high score of 100, the sum of 11 optimum figures which include 10 ratings for soil and land characteristics and one for length of frost-free season. The score card offers a choice of four ratings — low to high — for each characteristic. The user of the card is not asked to recognize and map soil types. Rather, he rates soils by fields. Soil samples are taken from each field for pH, and available phosphorus and potassium quick tests. A total farm score may be derived from the field ratings. The score card has been tested on a variety of soils in Wisconsin and the results have been compared with the U. S. Soil Conservation Service land use capability classification of the same fields, and with soil survey productivity ratings. The comparison shows substantial agreement between the three methods of evaluation. On farms which are without any soil map, the score card helps to provide essential information for the guidance of workers in farm planning and rental programs. Admittedly, there are certain inherent defects in a rating scheme of this kind, such as interdependence of soil factors and differential productivity of a given soil for different crops.

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