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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Research Project #442198

Research Project: Expansion and Refinement of Soil Health Assessment Protocol and Evaluation (SHAPE) and Revised Technical Note 450-03

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Project Number: 5070-21600-001-004-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jun 8, 2022
End Date: Jun 7, 2027

The primary objective of this agreement is the expansion and refinement of SHAPE to include additional soil health indicators and protocols, such as mineralizable nitrogen and microbial enzyme activities.

Expansion of SHAPE is limited only by data availability; therefore, data will be compiled from multiple sources, including cooperator labs, and production of new data will expand the dataset. Data from alternative laboratory methods and protocols will be compared to develop conversion factors or equivalencies to expand the utility of SHAPE. The updated Technical Note 450-03 will facilitate harmonization of soil health data production and interpretation via SHAPE. Overall, this inclusive approach to indicator and method selection will increase the utility and flexibility of SHAPE, expand user options, and ultimately provide a soil health assessment tool that will appeal to a wide range of stakeholders. Specifically, ARS will coordinate and oversee the following tasks: 1) Revise and expand SHAPE. a. Compile existing data from multiple sources. b. Produce soil health data to cover regional gaps in the current SHAPE dataset. c. Deploy the spatially explicit version of SHAPE for the 5 high priority indicators. d. Complete scoring curves for the two most common aggregate stability tests: the NRCS-Kellogg Soil Survey Lab method and the Cornell method. e. Incorporate conversions where alternative laboratory methods are commonly employed, such as soil respiration (24 hr versus 96 hr assays) and develop separate pilot curves where equivalencies are not available. 2) Collaborate with Cooperator to revise NRCS Technical Note 450-03. 3) Collaborate with Cooperator on the continued integration and operationalization of SHAPE in NRCS platforms.