EurekAlert: Smartphone screens effective sensors for soil or water contamination

EurekAlert: Smartphone screens effective sensors for soil or water contamination. “The touchscreen technology used in billions of smartphones and tablets could also be used as a powerful sensor, without the need for any modifications. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated how a typical touchscreen could be used to identify common ionic contaminants in soil or drinking water by dropping liquid samples on the screen, the first time this has been achieved. The sensitivity of the touchscreen sensor is comparable to typical lab-based equipment, which would make it useful in low-resource settings.”

USDA: New, Easy-to-Use Conservation Data in RCA Data Viewer

USDA: New, Easy-to-Use Conservation Data in RCA Data Viewer. “Looking for [Natural Resources Conservation Service] conservation program data? Whether you need program financial information or number of conservation contracts, civil rights data or which practices are applied on how many acres – this and much more is available in the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA) Data Viewer. The Viewer was recently updated with data for fiscal year 2020, and for those who want to use the numbers to create their own analysis, graphs or charts, conservation program data are now available in easier-to-use Microsoft Excel file format.”

NASA: NASA Data Powers New USDA Soil Moisture Portal

NASA: NASA Data Powers New USDA Soil Moisture Portal. “Farmers, researchers, meteorologists, and others now have access to high-resolution NASA data on soil moisture, thanks to a new tool developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), NASA and George Mason University. The app, Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics (Crop-CASMA), provides access to high-resolution data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument in an easy-to-use format.”

Phys .org: New dataset opens Estonian soil information for versatile use

Phys .org: New dataset opens Estonian soil information for versatile use. “A comprehensive database of Estonian soils and a map application has been completed in cooperation with researchers of the University of Tartu and the Estonian University of Life Sciences. The database makes Estonian soil information easily accessible and can be used from local farm-scale to national-level big data statistical analysis and machine-learning models.”

EurekAlert: Smartphones prove to be time-saving analytical tools

EurekAlert: Smartphones prove to be time-saving analytical tools. “Seemingly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and we find new uses for them every day. They can help us avoid traffic jams or connect us to family from afar. They can even translate languages on the fly. Now, scientists have figured out a new trick. Using a regular smartphone camera and some 3D-printed tools, they’ve developed an easier way to measure soil density.”

Nature: A database for global soil health assessment

Nature: A database for global soil health assessment. “Field studies have been performed for decades to analyze effects of different management practices on agricultural soils and crop yields, but these data have never been combined together in a way that can inform current and future cropland management. Here, we collected, extracted, and integrated a database of soil health measurements conducted in the field from sites across the globe.”

New Online Digital Library Provides Information Relating to Soil Health (PRESS RELEASE)

A new digital library relating to soil health has just launched (PRESS RELEASE). “The Soil Health Institute (SHI) today announced the release of the Soil Health Research Landscape™ tool. The online library and search engine will be a resource for agricultural and environmental scientists, industry leaders, agricultural producers, conservation policy makers, agricultural journalists, and others interested in soil health…. [Steven] Shafer added that the initial library includes more than 1,000 scientific research papers, research progress reports, and other kinds of publications and references. Building the tool’s library of soil health papers and information will be an ongoing, open-ended effort by the Institute and its partners.”

Map/Database Shows Soil Liquefaction Potential in Taipei (Republic of China)

Man, this looks scary: a database of soil liquefaction potential for Taipei. “An online database launched Saturday by the Taipei City Government shows that nearly 30 percent of sites in Taipei have a medium to high vulnerability to soil liquefaction during a strong earthquake. Vulnerable areas include the site of the landmark Taipei 101 Tower, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported.”

New Database of Soil Fungi

Now available: a database of soil fungi. “The below-ground associations that plants form with mycorrhizal fungi is one of the most prevalent and ancient symbioses on Earth. The fungi deliver nutrients and water, in return for plant-derived sugars. But scientists know very little about the impact this relationship has on how ecosystems function and can make few broad generalizations about relationships between plants and the fungi. The new database sheds light on that, even though it deals with just 351 plant species of the 450,000 that exist in the world. The database, which includes 4,010 studies from 438 peer-reviewed articles, contains data on how various plant species behave when inoculated with the fungi compared to when they are not.”