The project, ‘A coordinated and consistent approach to managing and enabling soil data' is being funded by the Soil Cooperative Research Centre (Soil CRC), which is a collaboration between universities, governments, grower groups and farmers from across Australia.
The data available will include information on soil nutrition, biology, moisture, and physical and chemical constraints. Farmers, grower groups, government, universities and industry will be able to use the data for forecasting, and developing support tools and future applications.
Until now, research and information about soils has not been collated and made widely and easily available, which has limited the ability of farmers to access and benefit from soil research.
There will also be an education component to the project, which will involve the upskilling of Soil CRC members, partners and those collecting and using soil data in data management and practices for collecting and sharing soil data.
The researchers believe that the accessibility of data will ultimately improve productivity and profitability for farmers and growers. The project is expected to be completed in July 2022.
Federation University Australia senior research fellow, Dr Nathan Robinson, said there is a wealth of information about soil that has not been widely available in one place, but that can improve the performance of soil and allow governments, farmers and growers to make better decisions about how they manage their resources.
"Through this project we would like to find a solution to help manage soil data to make research available to partners in the Soil CRC, but also improve soil quality and performance in the longer term."