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Development of Soil Information System and its application in Taiwan


Taiwan soil information system, soil survey, low soil productivity lands assessment, soil liquefaction, food safety


A new approach to Soil Information System (SIS) for natural resources management


WS - Workshop




Asia (East and Pacific)


Soil survey program started in Taiwan very early, soil texture and soil reaction maps were published in 1910. Soil detailed maps (scale 1:25,000) of plain region were published in 1978, hill lands region in 1990 and forest region (high mountains) in 2004. However, different institutes conducted these three stages of soil survey programs, so it takes a lot of time to correlate the soil attributes, map units and boundaries of soil delineations between these different stages programs. Unclear soil mapping concepts and techniques in those days is also a problem of soil correlation. The basic soil attributes data that soil survey reports provided could not be satisfied with the requirement of intensified farming system operation and rapid- changing soil quality. Soil information system of plain region and hill lands were found by TARI and SWCB in 1988 and 1990. The soil information application became very popular from then. The soil data provided for universities and governments units and was applied in the fields of environment protection, land management, nature resources management and civil engineering application. More than 30 of applicants from different institutes asked for soil information each year. TARI has applied these soil databases of Taiwan farmlands since 1986. Soil information was applied for different disciplines in Taiwan, such as: the soil productivity classification of paddy fields (1986), soil productivity promotion planning (1993), soil management grouping (1998), assessment of susceptibility of soil liquefaction (1999), assessment of the susceptibility of nitrogen fertilizer (2000), soil quality monitoring (2001). Though many shortcomings of soil survey methods, information and data have to be improved, the application of soil data was fruitful in the past from some point of view. Taiwan agriculture faces a very crude challenge in the near future, high cost of crops production, crops quality, food safety, environmental protection pressure and water resources shortage are the most important issues listed in the agriculture policy reports of COA. A new soil survey program has started in this year. The new soil information of Taiwan seems to play an important role for decision making.

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