Susan Crow’s (NREM) project “Putting the Farmer in the Driver’s Seat: Integrative Web Tool for Improved Soil Health and Carbon Assessment, Monitoring, and Planning” just won one of three grants from NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
for soil and nitrogen data tools to help farmers manage nitrogen inputs, track nitrogen gas outputs, and help measure overall nitrogen footprints at different spatial scales. Susan explains that farmers need information, support, and recommendations that are individualized and accessible, yet routine, in order to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration. The project will synthesize prior research results on these factors to derive overarching principles that will in turn form the basis for an individualized recommendation tool that meets the diverse needs of farmers, landowners, and managers in Hawai‘i. Farmers will be able to improve viability of their cost structure via enhanced soil quality (i.e., improved nutrient cycles and water dynamics) in agroecosystems and certifiable carbon sequestration, thereby enabling them to be compensated in the future for ecosystem services such as climate change mitigation. Pictured here is Susan’s graduate student Hannah Hubanks, who has been leading the initial soil health-related field and lab work that was the basis for the additional funding the project was awarded.