CO2 Emissions are readily measured directly in the field with a Solvita CO2-Probe inside an aluminum chamber, covered to prevent CO2 loss or heat-gain from sunlight.

Woods End announced the release of its new Model 700 Solvita DCR  which incorporates upgrades for  new soil test capabilities and improved performance with electronic integration.  The upgrade is being timed with NAPT’s 2013 acceptance of the Solvita CO2-burst test as a provisional lab method. A new channel has been added for field (basal) CO2 respiration testing, coinciding with USDA-NRCS’s new “Soil Quality Kit – Guide for Educators” program.

Field testing enables calculating respiration in terms of pounds of CO2 per acre, or kg/m2 – providing an ecological-global carbon picture to soil quality.  “It’s very clear that soils play an enormous and very active role in global carbon regulation and the test enables one to see it first-hand” – says Will  Brinton. Woods End believes it is the first company to have uncomplicated and inexpensive means to monitor soil carbon emissions in the field.

Special features of  the Solvita DCR700 include a broader CO2 range employed for the official lab CO2-burst protocol and improved light technology for more accurately measuring Solvita color.  These firmware changes have been matched by new software enabling automatic uploads of tests directly into a spreadsheet. In upgrading the handheld spectrometer, Woods End  incorporated a new CO2 range based on current research relating nitrogen-release to CO2-burst after re-wetting soil. The new method is intended for soil labs enabling them to report soil biological activity to growers in addition to normal soil chemistry results.

Brinton and Haney have pursued soil respiration over two decades each and will be reporting in an upcoming 2013 symposia the new diminishing-rate curve for relating CO2-burst to N-release, a curve typical of soil-plant nutrient relationships. “It’s been exciting discovering these biological corollaries for the Solvita test” says inventor Brinton. Dr. John Doran, former SSSA President and a pioneer from the early 90’s in Soil Health monitoring is excited about the advancement: “The Solvita soil test represents one of the most outstanding advancements translating science into practice and interlinking soil science, agronomy, soil testing and crop consultants with farmers, practitioners, and resource conservationists.”  For more info click HERE.