Seminar A: Soil Science / Agronomy, Day 1

The Seminar A: Soil Science/ Agronomy on Tuesday continued, in the vein of previous discussions in Soil Quality and Carbon Sequestration, to focus on the merits of various soil and agronomic parameters for measuring soil quality and soil carbon. Experimental design for individual LTRAs was presented in detail and led to a debate regarding the most appropriate methods for uptake and dissemination of CAPS components.

Recurring topics

  • Methodologies for uptake and dissemination of CAPS
  • Experimental design
  • Soil quality and soil C parameters


  • Whether CAPS should only be studied/implemented as a whole package or if adoption of individual CAPS components by farmers should be encouraged
  • Superiority of mother-baby (on-station to on-farm) trial versus "kitchen trials" (on-farm to on-station)
  • Lack of information sharing on CAPS system components that were tested but "failed"

Processes and products

  • Mother-baby trials
  • "Kitchen" trials
  • Illinois soil nitrogen test
  • Microplate reader
  • Numerous other methods and parameters for soil quality and carbon analysis


  • Best methodologies are location specific, and should be low-tech and use locally available materials whenever possible
  • Experimental design is variable between LTRAs
  • Both mother-baby and "kitchen" trials are useful research methods in CAPS
  • No clear consensus on the best methods and parameters for measurements related to soil quality and carbon