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.
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
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
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
Soil pH, biologically active soil organic matter, electrical conductivity, soil nutrients
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.
The SoilDoc is in its prototype phase. The developers offer technical support.
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