Soil Fingerprinting: New Tool for Soil Analysis


[Light, electronic music fades in.] Narrator: The science of soil analysis and management has evolved quickly in recent years… …and researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have been leading the way… …using new methodology called a soil fingerprinting framework. The soil fingerprinting framework provides a way to systematically… …track and record changes in soil chemical, physical and biological… …properties. With a particular emphasis on a very detailed way to describe soil… …structure. Up until now, there hasn’t been a consistent system or tool… …for generating that precise picture. Dr. Cathy Fox… …along with teams in Ontario, British Columbia, and Germany, has developed that new tool. It will help agronomists and producers track what is happening in the surface layer… …of the soil. Dr. Catherine Fox: Soil physical properties are the components of the soil related to its inherent… …particle size. These particles will aggregate… …together into specific soil structure, the structure itself… …can tell you a lot about what’s happened… …to the soil. These are some examples of… …the diversity of soils that we have in Canada… …in the top surface here, we have the A horizon, and this is the area that… …is most important for crop growth. Natalie Feisthauer: It’s a very specific way of taking all the information you can collect about a soil sample at the time of sampling… …and using this approach, you develop one single line of information… …if you sample soil and develop this fingerprint and go back for example… …a year later, there are certain pieces of information in that fingerprint that may have changed… …and that will give you very specific information about what’s going on with the soil. You can go back over time or you can compare different sites and see where the fingerprint is different… …so what sort of properties have changed. David Kroetsch: It’s a tool that’s going to give you that opportunity to… …take the measurements and then interpret what your soil quality is… …or what your particular situation is. And then go back and maybe apply a beneficial management practice… …come back at a later time and say yes that has made a change for the better. Or if we continue on with the current management… …what’s the quality of the soil going to be? How effective is my current management practice? Anytime we’re going to make a decision on how we’re going to alter land use… …or land practices we can be able to go out and routinely apply… …a measurement technique that’s going to be reproducible, by whoever we have on the land. Narrator: This unique tool is currently available to the agricultural industry in Ontario. It will be available across Canada and around the world in the spring of 2017. To learn more, check out our other videos on soil sciences in Canada. [Light, electronic music fades out.] [Light, electronic music fades out.]

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