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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Research Project #433656

Research Project: Digital Soil Mapping for Mgmt of Water and Cropping Systems for Small Farms (UArk)

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Project Number: 6020-21310-010-21-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

The soil is the underlying resource that provides nutrients for cropping systems and controls the management options for specific management practices. Researchers will develop a soil database and information tools and create soil maps for the nations with interpretation of the data for small farmers. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Create a soil database and information tools; 2) Create continuous soil property and class maps; 3) Create interpretation maps for management decisions; and 4) Training of scientist to understand and utilize the tools and techniques.

Scientists will utilize digital soil mapping tools to establish soil maps and provide training and education on how the methods to create soil maps will benefit small farmers. The process is based on organizing legacy information into a hierarchal process to delineate broad zones where the largest soil differences will occur. After broad zones are identified, terrain attributes from a digital elevation model will be used to represent fine resolution soil variability with soil property predictions. The soil properties will be then grouped into soil functional zones and interpretations for land use and water management will be developed. Additionally, the soil information will be made available through digital platforms which allow visualization in the field.