Equipment Loans

We have equipment loans available to support people doing their own land stewardship. Items available are soil health bucket kit, rainfall simulator, biochar kiln, and a water tote. Contact with any questions, or fill out the form below to get a loan request started.

External Resources

Resources for the Soil Health Workbook

Soil Health Workbook y en espanol Salud de la Tierra Libro de Trabajo

These resources are to support the content presented in the Soil Health Workbook – Fundamentals, Principles, and Management: Ideas for Producers and Technical Service Providers in New Mexico and Colorado developed by Quivira Coalition. Available to view and download here.

Thinking about Soil

Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils, a textbook: Raymond R. Weil and Nyle C. Brady

Soil Fundamentals

Physical Characteristics

Soil Texture

Soil texture by feel, a visual demonstration: University of California, Davis video
Forming a soil ribbon, a visual demonstration: University of Nebraska, Lincoln video

Soil Structure

Soil aggregate stability test, a visual demonstration: NRCS USDA South Dakota video
Aggregate stability and soil organic matter, a webpage: USDA NRCS
2014 National Resources Inventory Rangeland Resource Assessment: USDA NRCS
Soil bulk density, a handout: USDA NRCS Guides for Educators
Compaction in agricultural fields, a handout: NMSU Circular 672
Compaction in rangeland, a handout: USDA NRCS

Soil Water Component

Water Harvesting from low-standard rural roads, a technical guide: Bill Zeedyke
Erosion Control Field Guide, a technical guide: Quivira Coalition
Soil infiltration rate, a visual demonstration: Tennessee State University Extension video
Infiltration in rangeland, a handout: USDA NRCS

Chemical Characteristics


Nitrogen Fixation, a handout: NMSU Guide A-129

Carbon to Nitrogen Ratios (C:N)

Carbon to nitrogen ratios (C:N) in cropping systems, a handout: USDA NRCS
Organic matter in farm and garden soils, a webpage: NMSU Circular 687

Salinity and Sodicity

Salinity and sodium issues in New Mexico soils, a handout: NMSU Circular 656

Biological Characteristics

Plants and Carbon
The Point-Intercept Method, a visual demonstration: Lorrine Norwood video
Estimates of plant cover and biomass back to 1984 across much of the western US, a website: from USDA NRCS and University of Montana
PLANTS Database, a website:


Soil respiration, a handout: USDA NRCS


Termites and water infiltration in New Mexico, a journal article: Ned Z. Elkins, George V. Sabol, Timothy J. Ward & Walter G. Whitford
Termites and organic matter in New Mexico, a journal article: M. H. Nash & W. G. Whitford


Livestock dynamics on pastures and grazing, a webpage: Oregon State University National Forage & Grasslands Curriculum

Healthy Soil Principles

New Mexico Health Soils Act, the act: New Mexico State Legislature
New Mexico Healthy Soils Program, a webpage: New Mexico Department of Agriculture
Healthy Soil, a webpage: USDA NRCS

Soil Health Management, the Conservation Activity Plan 116: USDA NRCS

Conservation Cover: NRCS Conservation Practice 327
Conservation Crop Rotation: NRSC Conservation Practice 328
Cover Crop: NRCS Conservation Practice 340
Forage and Biomass Planting: NRCS Conservation Practice 512
Prescribed Grazing: NRCS Conservation Practice 528
Residue and Tillage management – No till: NRCS Conservation Practice 329
Residue and Tillage management – Reduced till: NRCS Conservation Practice 345
Mulching: NRCS Conservation Practice 484
Soil Carbon Amendment: NRCS Interim Conservation Practice Standard 808
Controlled Traffic: NRCS Conservation Practice 334

Basic Soil Monitoring and Evaluation

Where to sample

LandPKS, a smartphone app for soil maps, data collection and storage for your ranch or farm: from the Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado at University of Colorado Boulder and the Jornada Experimental Range, an interactive website for soil information at a global scale: from the International Soil Reference and Information Centre
USDA Web Soil Survey, a web-based tool for accessing soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey for the USA: USDA Web Soil Survey
How to use the USDA Web Soil Survey, a video: University of Minnesota

What to sample besides soil


Water Quality Interpretation Tool, a web-based tool to help you interpret your livestock and irrigation water quality test results: Water Quality Interpretation Tool from Colorado State University


Using Animal Manures in Managing Organic Matter in Farm and Garden Soils, a webpage: NMSU Circular 687


How to Collect and Send Plant Specimens for Disease Diagnosis, a webpage: NMSU Guide H-158
Hay Quality, Sampling, and Testing, a webpage: NMSU Circular 641

What tests to do in the field and in the lab

Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment, a worksheet and instructions: New Mexico NRCS
Soil Health Field Assessment and Considerations, a comprehensive technical guide: New Mexico NRCS
Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health, comprehensive technical guide: DOI, BLM, USDA NRCS & USGS
Soil Quality Test Kid Guide, a comprehensive technical guide: USDA NRCS
Interpreting Soil Tests, a handout: NMSU Circular 676
Appropriate Analyses for New Mexico Soils, a webpage: NMSU Guide A-146

Soil management considerations

Soil Health Tool Kit,  a step-wise management approach and technical resources: NM Association of Conservation Districts

Tillage Management

Rollercrimpers, a website: Rutgers University
No-till Cropping Systems in Oklahoma, a 100 page free book: Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

Cover Crops

Cover Cropping in Arid and Semi-arid Farming Systems, a website: NMSU Guide A-150

Crop Rotation

Dryland Cropping Systems, a handout: CSU Fact Sheet 0.516 

Organic Amendements

Compost vs Manure, a video: AgPhD TV

Addendum: Technical Service Provision

Teaching Methods

Resources for Teaching and Learning: University of New Mexico STEM Gateway Course Redesign Teaching Professional Development

How teachers teach

Motivated Reasoning and Persuading Faculty Change in Teaching, a journal article about motivating behavior change in teaching methods using autonomy, competence, and relatedness: Gary A. Smith, University of New Mexico

How farmers learn

Farmer, Agent, and Specialist Perspectives on Preferences for Learning Among Today’s Farmers, a journal article about learning methods preferred by farmers and teaching methods used by Extension agents and specialists in Virginia, Louisiana, and Tennessee: Nancy K. Franz et al, Iowa State University
How Farmers Learn: Improving Sustainable Agricultural Education, an Executive Summary/Research Brief about how farmers in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia prefer to learn and what that means for agricultural education: Nancy K. Franz, Virginia Cooperative Extension
Self-directed Learning Readiness of Extension Clientele in Doctor Arroyo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, a journal article describing the level of self-directedness of farmers: Sabrina Tuttle, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, San Carlos Apache Reservation

Outdoor Teaching

The Farmer Field Dat Toolkit, a complete guide to support SARE Farmer/Rancher grantees hosting events related to their SARE-funded project: SARE
Field Day Tool Kit, a complete guide to planning and giving a field day – an outdoor learning event: Iowa Learning Farms

Indoor Teaching

Rethinking Presentations in Science and Engineering, a website with resources, slide templates, and explainer videos for successful teaching: Michael Alley, Pennsylvania State University

Whole ranch/farm planning in the context of soil health and soil carbon



Consensus on causes and predicted consequences of climate change 

Productively teach and discuss climate change

Climate change and New Mexico

Soil Health

How much carbon can be stored in dryland working land soils? draft – comments welcome!

Desert Southwest Soil Health Webinar – series of videos defining soil health, practices to improve soil health, and soil pest control


Grant Writing

So you want to write a government grant – YouTube video of a workshop taught by Eva Stricker

Rancher/farmer funding programs overview

Case Studies: Costs and benefits of adding organic amendments like compost, biochar, bale grazing, and mulch
Costs of producing compost in rural New Mexico

E-newsletter Archive of the Carbon Ranch

Check out our past In the Field newsletters! They are a great archive of writings, workshops, announcements, and resources.