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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370555

Research Project: Sustainable Small Farm and Organic Grass and Forage Production Systems for Livestock and Agroforestry

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Title: Participatory digital soil mapping for Central America: A pedagogical and administrative approach

item DORANTES, MINERVA - University Of Arkansas
item FUENTES, BRYAN - University Of Arkansas
item Owens, Phillip
item LIBOHOVA, ZAMIR - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item MILLER, DAVID - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The unbalanced use of fertilizer, the loss of organic matter, erosion and inefficient water management are some of the problems affecting soils in the Central American region. The sustainable management of soil and water resources is necessary to reduce vulnerability to climate variability, mitigate the impact of natural disasters and improve the productivity of dryland agriculture. Soil information is essential for this effort, but the current state of the soil data limits its use in management. In 2015, the Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) Project was formed within the framework of the Water-Smart Agriculture (WSA) program with the purpose of responding to the need for soil information in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The main goal of the project is to establish local capacity in the creation of new soil information useful for decision-making. As a first step, technical-scientific teams were formed in each country led by a soil expert. Through agreements with multiple institutions, national information on soils and their environment was collected. The USDA-UARK team provided technical and scientific training for the DSM process, including: soil-landscape relationships, training in GIS for the production of information related to soil forming factors, as well as training in the production and validation of soil property and interpretation maps. The DSM project for WSA has proven to be effective for the establishment of local capacity in organization and generation of new soil information useful for decision-making. In addition, the support of multidisciplinary teams from different institutions places this project initiative as a national priority and encourages the adoption of the DSM methodological scheme, making it a long-term sustainable project.