Soil Health

EFAO’s Soil Health Benchmark Study enables farmers to comprehensively assess the health of their soils while providing them with a common “language” to discuss their soil health management strategies.

In 2019, EFAO piloted this program with a focus on the Lake Erie Basin. 

2019 Soil Health Benchmark Study Program Details

Participating farmers receive

  • Sampling scheme
  • Training for sampling: webinar, written protocol, support as needed for sampling
  • Sampling bags, submission form and mailer
  • Analysis of 9 samples (3 fields x 3 replicates) using active carbon and organic matter (value $250), with option to pay for additional samples
  • Interpretation of results
  • Detailed Benchmark Report that shows how your soil health and management practices compare to peer farms and farms across Ontario
  • Connection to a learning community of farmers who are working to solve practical soil health challenges

Participating farmers contribute

  • Method to geo-reference sampling location (GPS, app, etc)
  • Straight shovel, such as a sharp-shooter or drain-spade style
  • Ring (PVC or aluminum) for water infiltration measurements
  • Time to sample and mail samples
  • Detailed management records for the sites sampled

Please contact Sarah Hargreaves,, if you are interested in participating in potential future studies.


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