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Soil Management Assessment Framework

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The Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) provides site-specific interpretations for soil quality indicator results. Because the definition of soil quality for your site depends on your management goals, climate, crops, and soil type, a framework approach to soil quality indexing is used. This allows for the necessary differences in site- and goal-specific interpretations of indicator results. The index framework involves three main steps:

  1. Indicator selection to efficiently and effectively monitor the critical soil functions
  2. Interpreting indicators in terms of soil function (using expected ranges determined by the soil's inherent capability)
  3. Combining indicator scores into an integrated index of soil quality (optional). The result is a relative measure of the soil's ability to perform the functions necessary for its intended use.

Andrews et al., 2001

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soil quality index steps


Andrews, S.S., D.L. Karlen, and J.P. Mitchell. 2001. A comparison of soil quality indexing methods for vegetable production systems in Northern California. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 1760: 1-21.