Soil monitoring stations built in Canada

May 04, 2015

Canada currently has 22 soil monitoring stations

By Diego Flammini,

As scientists continue to learn about changes on the planet and how they impact agriculture and the environment, they’re looking to the soils for answers.

The Real-time In-situ Soil Monitoring for Agriculture network (RISMA) consists of 22 soil monitoring stations across Canada. Four are located in Kenaston, Saskatchewan, nine in Carman-Elm Creek Manitoba, three in Sturgeon Creek, Manitoba, five in Casselman, Ontario and one on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) farm in Ottawa, Ontario.

"Our stations are installed in annually cropped fields and provide us with vital soil information as well as meteorological data,” said Anna Pacheco, Environmental Analyst, Remote Sensing, AAFC, Ottawa. “Those measurements in near real-time help us test new sensor technology, support our satellite-based soil research and model development, and allow us to collaborate with other science organisations. Monitoring soil moisture will enable the sector to better mitigate agricultural risks on a regional and national basis.”

Farmers will be able use a web-based application to see the most current soil information within an hour of it being sampled. This will allow them to make better and informed decisions based on weather, water and other variables.

It will also allow researchers to predict crop yields and possible flooding based on the satellite images.

AAFC started setting up these stations in 2010 to provide information about soil moisture, soil temperature and other meteorological data to capture conditions for some of the main agricultural crop types, soil textures and ecozones in Canada.

Join the conversation and tell us if you’ll use the information from the RISMA network to gather information about soils. How will you use it to make your farming operation more efficient?

Understanding the soil can help farmers make better decisions

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