The Soil Sampling Campaign

As part of the overall Fixing the Soil Health Tech Stack events, in spring/summer 2022, a robust soil sampling effort will occur at TomKat Ranch, an 1800-acre regenerative cattle ranch in Pescadero, California. TomKat Ranch collects ecological data on the ranch by participating in Point Blue Conservation Science’s Rangeland Monitoring Network, including soil tests across the ranch starting in 2014. These data enable management to evaluate soil productivity throughout the ranch and track changes over time, and are publicly available as part of the TomKat Ranch Data Project.

This sampling phase has two goals: to measure carbon accounting as well as carbon detection over time, and to examine potential variances across multiple labs. 

Point Blue Conservation Science, along with non-profit The Soil Inventory Project will begin collecting soil samples that will then have soil carbon percentage and bulk density analyzed by multiple soil labs to create a robust data layer across several pastures where TomKat has applied treatment regimes. The soil sampling campaign will use different measurement methods to account for and detect carbon and bulk density in the soils in these pastures. By having different tools analyzing similar soil samples across pastures, we can help to ground-truth the accuracy and cost of different soil analysis measurement and mapping tools and the variance that occurs between methods.

Collecting results in different formats will set the stage for the Soil Data Hackathon.

Partnership Opportunities

Interested partners may participate in this soil sampling campaign in the following manner:

-    Data analysis of samples collected
-    Sponsor or facilitate submission of the samples to additional labs
-    Additional soil sampling
-    Remote sensing or use of other innovative technologies 

As part of the experiment, we will test and compare what can be measured, at what level of precision, and at what cost.

To learn more or connect about partnering, contact Martha King, VP of Programs and Projects at Farm Foundation.