Database Research Summaries
2018 Development of a New Soil Quality/Health System

calendar_today Year of Research: 2018
update Posted On: 12/05/2019
group Tom Fontana (Principal Investigator, Ohio Soybean Council)
bookmark Ohio Soybean Council

Research Focus

The focus of this project is to develop a database that could facilitate wide adoption by both research and commercial laboratories.


  • Determine sensitivity of selected soil enzyme activities to detect diverse land management impacts on soils within major soil types of soybean agro ecosystems in Ohio.
  • Across diverse land management systems determine key chemical, physical and microbial properties of soils to confirm that soil enzyme index is consistent with these other measures of soil quality.
  • Calibrate an interpretable soil enzyme activity pedotransfer function that is sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance, independent of soil type.
  • Develop a numerical index that correlates with soybean yield based on a combined hydrolytic soil enzyme assay that detects soil management and an oxidation assay that controls for drainage.


  1. As of March 26, 2019, information is being collected from participating farmers and exchanging information concerning soil health and soybean productivity. Information will be uploaded as soon as it becomes available.


  • Our research provides a scientifically validated soil enzyme index test that is ready for testing at the farm scale – to determine its ability to independently to detect soil management similar to traditional nutrient soil tests and be highly correlated to soybean yields in farmers’ fields.

For more information about this research project, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.

Funded in part by the soybean checkoff.