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The OSU Soil Organic Matter Calculator

Crop Improvement
Crop Health
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)
Islam, Khandakar
Grigar, Jerry
Reeder, Randall
Shedekar, Vinayak
Licensing Manager
Dahlman, Jason "Jay"

T2018-218 The Ohio State University’s Soil Organic Matter Calculator is a program that can be used to calculate future organic soil quality, greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen fertility over short- and long-term scenarios in rder to help farmers decide more sustainable methods of agriculture.

The Need

Farmers, scientists, educators, industries and other non-profit organizations are increasing in need of a simple way to make accurate models and simulations of the environmental impact of land management choices and practices. Various different group and organizations from a wide variety of industries can use this calculator to learn about the best methods of managing land and agriculture, from an environmental and a financial perspective.

The Technology

Dr. Khandakar Islam and colleagues developed this calculator to help farmers, scientists, educators, industries and non-profit organizations assess soil composition, soil quality, and carbon dioxide gas sequestration. Their software is a user friendly spreadsheet that takes values derived from specific management practices, such as manure application, tillage, drainage, or cover crop rotations, and runs simulations of various scenarios for times of up to 50 years. These scenarios have calculated predictions of organic soil fractions, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as nitrogen fertility. This easy to use software can help a wide group of people develop the best methods of managing land by taking into consideration the many viable options and choices out there.

Commercial Applications

  • Farmers (Agriculture): can use this calculator to measure soil quality
  • Organizations (Environment): a tool to educate and persuade farmers to move towards more sustainable methods of agriculture
  • Government (Environment): a tool used to study and research areas of carbon sinks or carbon sources.

Benefits/ Advantages

  • The calculator program is flexible: it can act as its own program, or be integrated into an existing farm system
  • Especially accurate with red-toned soils, such as sands or clay