Soil Horizons Issue 32

31 October 2023

Letter of the editor

This issue of Soil Horizons showcases recent research on developing practical tools to help end-users. We include guidance for managing ‘surplus soil’ (derived from infrastructure development or natural processes such as sediment deposition) and describe a farmer-friendly infiltrometer to measure soil water infiltration.

There are two new web services: one for land-use capability and one that provides fascinating insights into our Antarctic soil's heritage and early exploration. New Zealand’s most favourable soils for food and fibre production need safeguarding, so the tools on the new land-use capability site will help councils to zone their highly productive land.

We provide stories on enhancing S-map (New Zealand’s digital soil map), including how the complex array of soils is being mapped on Banks Peninsula, the use of proximal sensing to improve S-map in Marlborough, and keeping our team’s soil description skills up to date. Some of Marlborough’s very stony soils are challenging to dig, so new techniques were adapted from precision agriculture to overcome the problem.

We also present work on the development of a plant growth chamber for investigating future climate conditions.

John Drewry
Senior Researcher - Soil Physics

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