Which Fields Should I Monitor?

When taking a baseline of the soils on a farm, you want to ensure that you’re able to collect results from different soil types and farming methods, so you get a good sense of the variability of your soils.

So, if you know you have three different soil types across your farm, you’ll want to choose three fields or areas that represent those soil types for testing. If you have fields under both permanent pasture and cropping, it makes sense to choose fields under both types of management for testing in Soilmentor, so you can make informed regenerative decisions under both types of management.

If performance of certain fields is a concern, it’s always interesting to choose these fields for soil testing, and compare results with a field or area that performs well, so you can set realistic goals for where you want your soils to build to, within your context.

Example Soilmentor setup

  • Choose four fields you are interested in monitoring, e.g:
    1. Low performance crop field (soil type: heavy, clay)
    2. High performance crop field (soil type: heavy, clay)
    3. Average performance crop field (soil type: light, sandy)
    4. Permanent pasture grazed field (soil type: medium, sandy clay)

  • Add these fields to the ‘Fields & Biodiversity’ section in Soilmentor, and upload their block boundaries so you can easily click on them from the Soilmentor phone app map

  • Add one sample site for each of these fields in Soilmentor – this is where you will record soil pit tests, penetrometer readings & ground cover transect walks.

  • When out on farm walks in the fields you have added to Soilmentor, you can record day to day general observations, wildlife spotted, treatments added & track animal movements by clicking directly on the fields from the Soilmentor phone map, or choosing them from the ‘Fields & Biodiversity’ list.

So, you have two areas in Soilmentor where you can make recordings:

Sample site = where you record soil pit & ground cover results
Fields & Biodiversity = where you record general observations & actions