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16. Dr. Steve Wood – Accessible Data for Everyone with AgEvidence

Soil science

AgEvidence is a new online dashboard where farmers and soil health experts can access cutting-edge research into the impact of soil health practices in the U.S. Corn Belt. Dr. Steve Wood, Senior Scientist for Agriculture and Food Systems for The Nature Conservancy and AgEvidence project lead, believes the tool gives access to foundational data on soil health that can keep the industry and its stakeholders moving forward together.

“You don’t need to be a scientist at the university with a subscription to the academic journals in order to get the data,” Wood says. “This platform makes sure everyone has the same tools in their toolkit.”

In total, the database includes about 16,000 data points, which come from nearly 300 studies. The studies cover different locations, different measurements, and span a 40-year period.

In order for research to be included in AgEvidence, it must first be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Studies also must be taking real measurements in the field. No modeling or simulated growing systems – like lab- or greenhouse-based studies – are included.

For first-time researchers or someone who isn’t a skilled scientist, AgEvidence distills findings down to a manageable set of insights. For example, the main page of the AgEvidence website curates results related to commonly asked questions like, “Which practices most improve water quality?” or “What’s the impact of conservation tillage?”

“We just wanted to make the data really quickly and readily available for folks who are working on this issue day to day, and want to be able to have easy access to the data in a nice, visual, compelling format,” Wood says.

Learn more from Wood about the AgEvidence tool by tuning into the podcast above and visit www.agevidence.org to explore the database.