June 2015: Twelve Land-Grant Institutions Contribute to Soil Science, Impact Resource Management

Twelve Land-Grant Institutions Contribute to Soil Science, Impact Resource Management

2015 Declared International Year of Soils

Washington, DC – Twelve land-grant universities are working together to make soil survey data more reliable and accessible. Soil survey data is used to evaluate soil and landscape health as well as address environmental concerns like erosion, crop yields, and climate change. Researchers from these universities serve on NCERA-003, a multistate research committee. NCERA-003 is now the longest continuous running research committee in the North Central region

“Since soil is highly susceptible to disturbances caused by humans, it’s imperative to use soil survey data when managing land and natural resources,” said Dr. Ken Olson, soil scientist at the University of Illinois and a former NCERA-003 administrative advisor. “We are developing new methods and tools to help gather more reliable data and broaden the scope and impact of soil science research.”

Specifically, NCERA-003 emphasizes multidisciplinary research to identify research gaps and improve soil sampling and soil modeling. NCERA-003 also combines soil information from various surveys to ease the transfer of data sets between systems and applications. This results in a more complete picture of soil health across landscapes.

“By making soil survey data more reliable and accessible, NCERA-003 is facilitating smart, timely land and natural resource management decisions,” said Dr. Jerry Miller, soil scientist at Iowa State University and a former NCERA-003 administrative advisor. “We work tirelessly to demonstrate the importance of soils and monitoring soil health, from hosting conferences, to displaying museum exhibits, to publishing educational materials. Our goal is ensure land managers take care of the nation’s soils and the life and infrastructure that depend on them.”

Through their research, recommendations, and outreach, NCERA-003 has helped communities, farmers, scientists, and legislators assess and respond to soil damage from erosion and floods.  They train and share the latest soil survey information and technology with soil scientists and students. NCERA-003 also shows farmers how to better monitor soil health and use soil conservation practices to boost crop yields and reduce runoff. Many organizations as well as federal, state, and local agencies tasked with managing soil and land resources rely on NCERA-003’s research and recommendations.

The 12 participating land-grant universities include:

  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Illinois
  • Purdue University
  • Iowa State University
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • North Dakota State University
  • Ohio State University
  • South Dakota State University

About Agriculture is America

Agriculture is America. In short, the agriculture industry – sustained in large part by the American land-grant university system through Colleges of Agriculture, Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Cooperative Extension – is integral to jobs, national security, and health. To learn more, visit http://agisamerica.org.



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