Russian Researchers Find a New Way to Determine Soil Fertility

Russian experts in Moscow conducted research to determine key indicators of soil fertility and other components for a productive harvest. Their findings have suggested that radar waves, when embedded in the ground, can help determine how enriched the soil is.

In the past, the application of radar technology in soil fertility surveys used to be nothing more than a research proposition. Scientists preferred using radar waves to study the earth’s interior upon excavation by emitting waves that penetrated sediments above the planet’s core.


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In light of the latest research, Russian experts suggest that the same technology can be used for determining soil fertility. The new research indicates that to locate rich soil in any given area, a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is placed to collect samples. After analysis of these samples, the soil quality is easily measured through a recursive phenotyping method.

The new procedure is pretty much textbook and does not involve any complications. Given its factor of quick analysis, the researchers decided to conduct simultaneous GPR experiments in various excavation locations across Russia. The experiment was conducted at a broad spectrum to see how quickly the method determines the quality of soil, with varying penetrations of radar waves.

After multiple procedures at seven reported locations, and at ranging depths, the researchers were able to devise a new model, whereby measuring soil fertility simply by looking at a returning pattern of radar waves.


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Currently, efforts are being made to improve the new model. Determinants such as soil color, soil texture, and soil composition are being re-modeled to improve accuracy. As of today, the new model is 80 percent effective at determining soil fertility.

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