Session
Title: Soil Health
Date: Wed Jul 18, 2018
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:20 PM
Moderator: Harold Reetz
Sampling for Soil Health

Soil health assessment involves the measurement and interpretation of multiple chemical, physical, and biological soil attributes that contribute to soil function. The concept of soil health arose from decades of soil conservation efforts and the recognition that soils play a key role in sustained agricultural productivity and environmental quality. The challenge of integrating and interpreting multiple soil health indicators led to the development of the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF), an index that currently handles 13 indicators and accounts for site-specific characteristics, such as soil texture, mineralogy, and climate. Recent advances in biological techniques have thrust soil microbiology to the forefront of soil health research. Biological measurements, however, are costly and often exhibit high spatial and temporal variability. Therefore, development of a reliable, affordable, and high-resolution soil health assessment depends on continuing innovation in laboratory and field techniques.

Kristen Veum (speaker)
Research Soil Scientist
USDA-ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit
Columbia, MO 65211
US
Dr. Kristen Veum is a research soil scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Columbia, Missouri. She earned her B.S. in geological sciences, M.S. in limnology, and Ph.D. in soil science. Her research is cross-disciplinary and focuses on development of biological, physical, and chemical indicators of soil health and evaluation of proximal soil sensing and sensor data fusion techniques. Dr. Veum serves as a scientific advisor for the NRCS Soil Health Division, the Soil Health Institute, and the Soil Health Partnership. She co-founded the ASA Soil Health Community and is the current Chair of the ASA Land Management and Conservation Section.
Length (approx): 40 min
 
Sensors for Precision Soil Health

Precision soil health assessment using proximal soil sensing techniques has the potential to provide high resolution, comprehensive, and efficient characterization of important soil health variables simultaneously. Sensor data fusion techniques can be used to integrate data obtained from visible and near infrared (VNIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, soil strength, apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa), and other sensors, for improved soil health assessment. Important research and development needs remain, including the optimization of sensors and analytical methods to provide on-the-go soil health assessment for improved management decisions.

Ken Sudduth (speaker)
Research Agricultural Engineer
USDA-ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit
Columbia, MO 65211
US
Dr. Ken Sudduth is an agricultural engineer with the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA in Columbia, Missouri where for over 25 years he has led a team conducting research in precision agriculture. His research interests include soil property sensing and measurement and interpretation of crop and soil variability. He also teams with soil scientists and agronomists to apply these approaches in precision crop management systems. Sudduth is an Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Missouri and Past-President of the International Society of Precision Agriculture.
Length (approx): 40 min