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Enhancing and testing soil quality

{Project} Enhancing and testing soil quality. [Maan toiminnallisen viljavuuden edistäminen ja mittaaminen.] Runs 2003 - 2004. Project Leader(s): Tolonen, Kaisa, ProAgria Association of Rural Advisory Centres .

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Document available online at: http://tripunix.mtt.fi/cgi-bin/thw/?${BASE}=arktui&${HTML}=docu_eng&${SNHTML}=nosyn_eng&${TRIPSHOW}=for=www_eng&NR=244-14


At present, soil fertility testing is based on soil chemical analysis. Organic amendments, either as manure and compost or residue from preceding crops and green manure, are essential for maintaining and enhancing soil quality and nutrient management in organic farming. Thus, organic farming is dependent on biologically mediated processes and functions of the whole soil system. Soil quality can be defined as soil's ability to function, it is dependent on the purpose of soil use, and it is based on chemical, physical, and biological soil properties. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in soil quality estimations. The aim of the study is to develop a soil quality test applicable for both organic and conventional farming. To achieve this, the following goals are set: i) to indicate the most important soil functions and properties, ii) to determine and to test the most promising indicators for soil quality, iii) to identify spatial distribution of soil properties, iv) to introduce methods for analysis of soil organic matter quality, v) to estimate the importance of different soil properties on crop yield, and vi) to test the usefulness of on-farm soil quality assessments. Additionally, the project produces information for education, and helps to find applications for commercial soil quality testing. To achieve the goals, the project is co-operating with several other research projects. Existing data from previous projects will be used for studying the interactions of different soil parameters, and for selection of apparently most relevant soil quality indicators. Spatial sampling and geostatistical approach is used to evaluate the spatial dependence and intercorrelation of measured properties. New methods will be adapted for soil organic matter quality. Existing on-farm soil quality assessments (e.g. USDA Soil Quality Test Kit) are evaluated and further developed. Together with ProAgria Association of Rural Advisory Centres the on-farm soil quality assessments are tested.

EPrint Type:Project description
Location:Urheilutie 6, 01301 Vantaa, Finland
tel. +358 20 7472 400
Keywords:organic farming, soil fertility, soil quality, soil biology, soil microbiology, soil structure, soil organic matter, spatial analysis, geostatistics, on-farm assessment, indicators
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Research affiliation: Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute
Research funders: Finland > Other organizations
Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute
Related Links:http://www.agronet.fi/luotu
Start Date:1 January 2003
End Date:30 December 2004
Deposited By: Nykänen, Arja
ID Code:5683
Deposited On:14 Sep 2005
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:27

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