Your soils and soil structure may determine the crops you can produce.
Soils - Articles


The soil is the life-blood of any farm engaged in production agriculture. Without improving or maintaining your soil health, you will soon be out of business or seeking another farm to purchase.

Soil Testing

At least every two to three years you should conduct a soil test. The report will show the amount of nutrients available in the soil along with the pH. When you take the sample, you should complete the questionnaire covering the past and proposed crops for the site where the sample is taken. The report will then provide lime and nutrient recommendations for optimal production of the proposed crop. Soil test kits are available at your local Extension Office.

Soil Characterization Lab

Penn State's Soil Characterization Lab provides a wealth of information for producers and homeowners alike. By starting with the Pennsylvania Soils tab, you will be able to find web-based soils maps and additional information covering soils, their history, and structure.


The tab for teachers provides information teachers from K through 12 may use as resources for student curricula. Teachers interested in envirothons should view this information.


Homeowners will find information covering on-site septic systems and how the soil structure impacts these systems. Information is also available concerning finding a soil scientist.

Harming you soil and soil structure may be the downfall of your operation. Even organic production that uses high levels of sulfur applications tom control diseases may damage the soil structure. Just remember, it takes longer to repair your soils structure than it does to cause the damage.