In the past decade soil health has been intensively studied as a science and practiced as a means to help improve the global social, environmental, and economic sustainability. This paper reviews the recent advances of the scientific soil health system. The current understanding and interpretation of soil health from the perspectives of soil functions, processes, and properties is summarized. Multi-tier soil health indicators were selected from relevant soil physical, chemical, and biological parameters. A suite of soil health assessment methods have been developed, such as soil health card, Solvita soil health tests, Haney soil health test, and comprehensive assessment of soil health. An array of soil health management practices have been recommended, including proper land use, crop rotation, cover crops, conservation tillage, soil organic amendment, crop-range-livestock integration, and rotational grazing. Overall, the recommended soil health indicators and assessment methods need further validation and improvement in relevance, scientific validity, practicality, and local adaptation. Continuous research, education, and outreach efforts are warranted to promote localized development, adoption, and implementation of soil health assessment and management.
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