Soil structure is a key indicator of soil health. The Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) provides a simple framework for quantitatively scoring soil structure quality. It requires only a shovel for extracting a block of soil and a scoring sheet for evaluating it and can be performed in about 10 minutes with a little practice.
VESS is included as an optional module in the Soil Health Assessment and Planning tool (SHAP). Download a copy of the VESS scoring sheet to try it out in your own field!
For video instructions on performing VESS, see below.