For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Future of Food Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
In 500-1000 words, express a succinct, informed response to the question, based on the module content and assigned readings listed below.
Review Soil Quality Indicators: Measures of Soil Functional State for a discussion of specific soil quality indicators and Soil Quality Management: Key Strategies for Agricultural Land on management practices that promote soil health. Review the assigned reading Chapters 1 (Healthy Soil) and Chapter 2 (Organic Matter: What it is and Why it's so important?) from the book that you can download for free "Building Soils for Better Crops. Edition 3." Sustainable Agriculture Network, USDA. Beltsville, MD.
After reviewing these assigned reading materials, answer the following question in a short essay.
- Why is soil organic matter beneficial for soil quality? Explain how soil organic matter promotes or supports soil quality by describing how it influences one specific indicator of soil health from each of the three soil property categories (biological, chemical and physical). For example, how does soil organic matter support: soil pH, soil aggregation, and earthworm activity? However, you may select any soil quality indicator influenced by organic matter from each of the three soil properties: biological, chemical and physical.
- Describe three different management practices that farmers can use to promote soil health. Explain how the management practices improve soil quality.
Submitting Your Assignment
Submit your paper online in the Formative Assessment folder.
Grading Information and Rubric
Each answer will earn a maximum of 20 points, as described in the rubric below.
|Work Shown||Possible Points|
|Answer should elaborate on why and how soil organic matter is beneficial, and how soil organic matter promotes three indicators of soil quality, one indicator from each of the 3 soil property categories. Answers should link to concepts discussed in this Module and can link to concepts discussed in earlier modules, such as Soils and Nutrients and Crops modules, Food Water modules.||9|
|Writing should be grammatically correct, clear and well organized. One point for quality writing may be deducted for poor writing.||1|
|Answers should describe three crop or soil management practices that promote soil health and EXPLAIN how the practice contributes to improving the soil characteristic. Complete answers should link to concepts discussed in this Module and earlier modules. (3 points for each management practice.).||9|
|Writing should be grammatically correct, clear and well organized. One point for writing may be deducted for poor writing.||1|