Dr. Cristine Morgan: North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements

The Soil Health Institute is leading the North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements (NAPESHM) with the goal of identifying the most effective indicators of soil health by measuring more than 30 indicators across 124 long-term research sites in Mexico, the United States of America and Canada. The Soil Health Institute coordinated a panel of scientists to help select appropriate measurement methods, and long-term research sites were selected from a list volunteered by scientists across North America. More specific details regarding the indicators selected, the methods used, and the sites selected can be found on the Soil Health Institute’s website and in a paper published in Agronomy Journal, Norris et al. (2020).

All sites were successfully sampled in 2019, with more than 97% of sampling being completed in the spring before planting. Soil sample analyses and associated quality control checks of data were completed in spring 2020, except a few carbon samples that needed re-testing (delayed because of COVID-19 closures). All management data from the sites have been collected, catalogued and verified. The eight scientists working on the project are in the process of preparing peer-reviewed manuscripts and reports that analyze and synthesize results. Those manuscripts will be submitted for publication in fall of 2020, and the Soil Health Institute anticipates providing a recommendation of a soil health measurement framework in the fall of 2020.

The Soil Health Institute acknowledges the many Partnering Scientists that have contributed their research sites, helped in sampling and offered data analysis ideas to the project. The project is funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, General Mills and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

For more information see our video below: