Updated on February 6, 2024


Created on May 24, 2016


Upcoming Update

SoilDoc is a kit which allows extension officers to do on-site lab tests on soil to determine deficiencies and make appropriate recommendations to farmers.

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Product Description

SoilDoc is a portable, on-site soil testing kit that is used to run soil analysis to provide tailored fertilizer and organic input recommendations for farms. The SoilDoc uses battery-powered instruments to test soil pH, biologically active soil organic matter, electrical conductivity, and micronutrients such as nitrate, sulfate, phosphate, and potassium. The kit transmits soil information via SMS (text message), allowing extension workers to make on-the-spot diagnoses of soil constraints and provide advice to farmers. This product is in a prototype phase.

Target SDGs

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Community, Public Sector Agencies

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Agriculture and Food Security Center at Columbia University, DuPont Pioneer, University of Maryland

Manufacturing/Building Method

The product was developed at Columbia University together with the University of Maryland, supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). It is currently at the prototype phase.

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

The SoilDoc is currently being tested in the field

Distributions to Date Status

As of 2014, there are five kits in Zambia, 15 in Tanzania, and 100 in Nigeria

Accuracy range


Parameters tested

Soil pH, biologically active soil organic matter, electrical conductivity, soil nutrients

Power source




Design Specifications

SoilDoc Kit is a mini-lab kit for analyzing soil samples to assess soil quality and make recommendations on what farmers can do to improve the soil condition of their farms. The soil fertility parameters analyzed with the SoilDoc field kit include soil pH, biologically active soil organic matter, electrical conductivity (indicative of general fertility levels and salinity issues), and 0.01 M calcium chloride extractable nitrate-N, sulfate-S, phosphate-P, and potassium-K. It has the capability to test nutrients in sap of growing crops for a snapshot of crop nutrients regarding nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium. The kit also includes tools to measure soil physical properties like surface sealing strength, compaction and volumetric soil water content.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

The SoilDoc is in its prototype phase. The developers offer technical support.

Replacement Components



3 - 5 Years

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The product is designed to help extension officers make recommendations for farmers to improve soil quality of their farms

Vetted Performance Status

The product has been tested for its efficiency by Cornell University, McGill University, Columbia University


Environmentally safe materials for agricultural extension agents to handle in the field.

Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

Murphy, D., Roobroeck, D., Lee, D. R., and Thies, J., 2019, Underground Knowledge: Estimating the Impacts of Soil Information Transfers through Experimental Auctions. SSRN, pp 124.

Dimkpa, C., Bindraban, P., McLean, J. E., Gatere, L., Singh, U., and Hellums, D., 2017, Methods for rapid testing of plant and soil nutrients, Sustainable Agriculture Reviews. Eric Lichtfouse, ed., Springer, pp. 1-43.

Haroua, A. P., Madajewiczb, M., Magombac, C., Michelsond, H., Tschirhartb, K., Amuric, N., & Palme, C., 2018, Can information improve investment? Effects of site-specific soil recommendations on fertilizer demand [Working paper].

Compliance with regulations


Comments from the Community


  1. dirkbouma says:

    We would be interested to test this instrument in preparation of fish ponds in the Philippines.

    Dirk J. Bouma, PE
    U.S. Peace Corps Response
    c/o Dr. Elizabeth Farin (+63 98 586 6509)
    Ramon Magsaysay Technological University
    Iba, Zambales 2201 Philippines
    email dirkbouma@gmail.com
    main +63 47 811 1683 /mobile & WhatsApp +63 999 355 8839 / USA SMS +1 240 425 2854


    We would like to purchase Soildoc for use in Kenya, can you please recommend the authorized sellers for Africa?
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

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