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Soil knowledge website sharing science and management insights for agriculture

Soil 860

A new website is now live to support farmers, researchers, advisors and students in their understanding of soil science and management.

The new Soil Quality Knowledge Base is now online with hundreds of resources and topics available to be explored.

Developed by SoilsWest with support from Murdoch University and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), the Soil Quality Knowledge Base is designed to compile evidenced-based information on soil properties, management, and testing, which is needed to support productive and sustainable use of soil in agricultural and natural resource industries.

SoilsWest Co-Director Associate Professor Frances Hoyle from Murdoch University’s Food Futures Institute says that while a lot of knowledge on soil exists, it can be difficult to access or requires translation from technical science into more consolidated guidance for management and education.

“There’s a large legacy of information out there from decades of dedicated research by a diversity of different organisations working together and successfully collaborating with farmers and the agricultural industry,” Associate Professor Hoyle said.

“The Soil Quality Knowledge Base helps in bringing the evidence base together and providing engaging insights and summaries, and we hope that it will make it easier to navigate to the information or answers users are looking for, or explore more features of soil that are relevant to them and their situation.

“SoilsWest has published 10 ebooks in the Soil Quality series since 2017, authored by experts and supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), which provides us a great opportunity to now be sharing the knowledge of so many fantastic researchers and other contributors with more people through the new website.”

Also included are more recent innovations and discoveries in soil science, which helps update information for current farming systems.

This short video highlights the website’s features.

The website contains sections on different areas of soil information, with pages on different topics relating to soil, which are integrated with videos, case studies, publications, illustrations, fact sheets and other resources.

There are three areas to explore:

  1. Soil attributes (separated into biological, chemical, and physical properties)
  2. Soil management
  3. Soil analysis and testing

Users can also search and filter the Knowledge Base’s collection of curated resources from a range of evidence-based sources, and SoilsWest plans to regularly update the website with more information and new insights from research.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Deeks said the website is a great tool for those who want to understand more about soil, and provides support for agriculture, and government policy development.

“Murdoch University is proud to be in partnership with SoilsWest and its other collaborators from DPIRD and GRDC on a project that will have a positive impact for how we use and manage soil on our changing planet,” he said.

Murdoch University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Peter Eastwood said SoilsWest had a strong track record of promoting new knowledge and connecting it to industry.

“There is also a fantastic opportunity through this website to integrate the latest and most exciting research into our teaching at the university, and it could be a great resource for education in high schools as well,” he said.

DPIRD’s Manager Soil Science & Crop Nutrition Chris Gazey said: “DPIRD is proud to have supported the development of the Soil Quality Knowledge Base and it’s fantastic to see so many contributions from our research be shared more widely.

“This website is effective in allowing more people to access high quality information about soil and apply this wealth of knowledge into productive management on-farm or in industry.”

Link to website: https://soilqualityknowledgebase.org.au

 

Soilswest website launch 860 SoilQualityKnowledgeBase_Website SoilQualityKnowledgeBase_Website screenshot

Image1: (L-R): Professor Peter Eastwood (Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, Murdoch University), Associate Professor Frances Hoyle (Co-Director, SoilsWest), and Professor Andrew Deeks (Vice Chancellor, Murdoch University). Image 2: Soilqualityknowledgebase.org.au screenshot. Image 3: Soilqualityknowledgebase.org.au screenshot.

Our research is making a real difference in the field. Take a closer look at the Food Futures Institute.

Posted on:

11 Jun 2024

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