Soil and Water Management  was selected as the second most important topic in a June, 2001 survey of Extension Agents and Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs). Soil scientists in the Dept. of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences created these Soil and Water Management modules, covering such topics as basic soil and water interactions, salinity and sodicity issues, soil erosion, chemical transport, and water use efficiency. Printed copies are available for free (with small shipping fee) from MSU Extension Publications, or can be accessed below.

Soil and Water Self-Study Course Modules and Quizzes

Module 1: Basic Soil Properties

In this module, learn about:

  • Basic soil properties and relationships between properties
  • How soil structure affects water and plant relations
  • How management practices influence soil structure, porosity and soil organisms
  • How relationships between soil chemical properties relate to exchange capacity, pH and salt-affected soils
  • How soil organic matter relates to basic soil properties

Module 2: Salinity and Sodicity Management

In this module, learn about:

  • How salt-affected soils develop
  • Properties of saline, sodic and saline-sodic soils
  • How to determine the relative difference of plant tolerances to salts
  • Management plans to prevent and reclaim salt-affected soils
  • Impacts of methane gas production on soil and water quality in Montana and Wyoming

Module 3: Managing for Soil Erosion

In this module, learn about:

  • Different types of wind and water erosion
  • Physical factors that affect the rate of erosion
  • How conservation practices impact water erosion and environmental quality
  • How residue management and cropping systems affect soil productivity
  • How to estimate percent residue

Module 4: Water and Solute Transport in Soils

In this module, learn about:

  • Recognizing the different ways in which water moves through soil
  • Understand the effects of management on water movement and solute transport
  • List soil and water management practices that reduce solute transport to protect water quality

Module 5: Plant Water Relations

In this module, learn about:

  • Understanding the effects of soil water status on plant nutrients and uptake
  • How Climate and soil water affect plant water relations
  • Understanding plant physiology as it relates to water stress
  • Management practices to increase water use efficiency and maximize yields