Assessment of SOIL quality using a BIOindicator (SoilBio)

Lead Participant: Soilessentials Limited

Abstract

Providing sufficient food to feed an increasing global population is challenging given limited resources. Soil is a key component of food production providing nutrition and organic matter. However, modern methods of crop production have resulted in degraded soil leading to reduced yields. This contributes to the so-called yield gap, the difference between yield in optimal conditions to that actually achieved. This project focusses on developing a test for soil quality that uses measures of soil biology, chemistry and physics. We profile soil nematode community DNA, similar to genetic fingerprinting, to inform the status of soil quality. Whereas soil chemical and physical measures are snapshot measures in time e.g. hours, nematode data is a reflection of weeks/months. The consortium partners will develop a tool for farmers to be used in a precision agriculture framework to identify fields in need of soil quality improvement.

Publications

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