Course Instruction

Here are just some of the key concepts you will learn with this course.

  • Why soil testing is important

  • How to soil test accurately

  • Where it is best to test your soil

  • What seasons are best to test

  • Next steps after soil testing

Take the first step

Don't waste your time and energy on soil testing without understanding a few key concepts. This course will help you prepare to hire a soil consultant, get you ready to hire the right soil-testing lab, and to build your trust in soil testing methods that work.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Instructions for this course

  • 2

    Soil Testing Key Concepts

    • Key Concept: 6 Tenets of Biological Farming

    • Key Concept: Healthy Soil

    • Key Concept: The Soil-Plant System

    • Key Concept: Soil Balancing

    • Key Concept: The Nutrient Flow Cycle

  • 3

    Build Your Soil Testing System

    • Start with a Soil Test

    • Soil Testing Basics

    • Using Soil Tests

    • Two Soil Testing Case Studies

    • Classroom: Understanding Soil Testing

  • 4

    Next Steps...

    • Course Summary

    • Soil Testing Final Quiz

    • Save $64.99 on Gary Zimmer's Full Course

    • Additional Learning Opportunities from Acres U.S.A.

Course Instructor

Gary Zimmer has been teaching students around the world for more than 30 years.

Senior Instructor

Gary Zimmer

Gary Zimmer was raised on a dairy farm in northeastern Wisconsin. He received training in dairy nutrition, earning a bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii (1970). After achieving his educational goals, he spent the next five years teaching a farm operation and management course at Winona Area Technical Institute, Winona, Minnesota. In addition to nutrition, he was required to teach courses in crops, soils and farm finance. His approach to teaching included outside speakers, on-farm projects, field trips and much study. He has always asked questions and looked at many ways of farming with an open mind. This led him to discover The Albrecht Papers, Brookside consulting training, work as a private consultant in southeastern Minnesota, and ultimately to promote a better understanding and appreciation of biological farming.

For the last 30 years, Gary Zimmer has been evaluating farming practices, which has presented him with many interesting observations and methods for successful biological farming. In the early 1980s, he and three partners started Midwestern Bio-Ag. With their main emphasis on education, Midwestern Bio-Ag currently works with more than 3,500 farms and has 75 trained consultants. Besides being president of Midwestern Bio-Ag, for the last few years, Gary has also managed the Bio-Ag Learning Center, a livestock and crop demonstration farm where he tests products and methods for successful biological farming.Gary continues to be an educator at heart and is a much sought-after speaker. He conducts presentations from coast to coast for diverse groups of people, including farmers, farm financial groups, private farm consultants, environmental groups and other agribusinesses.

About Otter Creek Farm

Otter Creek Organic Farm is also operated and co-owned with his son Nicholas. The 240-acre farm is certified organic and grows edible beans, corn and forages. On the 100 acres of creek bottom pasture, rotational grazing is done either with dairy heifers or beef cattle. The first major test project on this farm was to see how rapidly low-fertility, run-down soils could be fixed with organic methods.

Eco-Ag U Online Newsletters

Add your email to the mailing list to get updates on Eco-Ag U classes and more. Unsubscribe at any time.

More from Gary Zimmer

Soil testing is just one part of your biological farming system. Learn the other five vital pieces with Gary Zimmer's Biological Farming full course.

  • $249.00

    $249.00Biological Farming: Develop a High-Yield Crop Production System

    The father of modern biological farming, Zimmer shares the secrets to his highly profitable farming operation at Otter Creek Organic Farm in Wisconsin. Learn how to build your own biological farming system designed to decrease your dependence on costly inputs.

    Students will watch videos about soil management techniques, read recommendations about fertilizers, download worksheets on soil testing, build strategies for cover crops, and develop natural systems for weed and pest control ... and much, much more. After finishing this class, you will be able to identify clear next steps and immediately build your short- and long-term operational strategy.
    Buy Now