Soil Health Assessments

What is Soil Health?

Here’s a definition that we like:

the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, promote the quality of air and water, and maintain plant, animal, and human health”

New Service for Napa County Growers

RCD is now offering Soil Health Assessments to Napa grapegrowers to evaluate:

  • nutrient levels – the standard tests for crop quality
  • biological properties, such as organic carbon and microbial activity
  • physical properties, such as water holding capacity and aggregate stability

RCD’s qualified staff and regional partners will design a sampling strategy in your vineyard, conduct the field work, and assist you with interpreting soil analyses results to make sound soil management decisions.  View link for suite of lab and field tests included in the RCD’s assessment.

RCD is partnering with Oregon State University (OSU) to conduct the lab analyses.  OSU is one of few labs in the country that provide tests based on nationally adopted soil health metrics. 

Cost to Grower: First 5 growers to sign up receive free assessments 

Contact: Charles Schembre, 707-252-4189 x3122

Funding: CA Dept of Food and Ag

Partners: North Coast Soil Health Hub

Related Projects: Cornell Soil Health Assessment, Oregon State Soil Health Database  


12/10/17 NOTE: RCD is looking for one more vineyard to partner with RCD and the North Coast Soil Health Hub on a 5-10 year soil health demonstration project.  The project involves implementing a soil management practice known to improve soil health (compost, cover crop, reduce tillage, etc), and monitoring the soil through standard Soil Health Assessment metrics. 

More details:

  • Grower should have interest in implementing a new practice related
  • Grower can provide a section of the vineyard as a control to the new practice
  • Ideally, treatment and control can be replicated in two areas of the vineyard
  • Growers can commit to the demonstration for at last 5 years   
  • RCD can contribute to some costs related to amendments, seeds, and lab analysis