“ConnectedCrops is used by our Soil Specialists at OMAFRA for advising growers when to irrigate, and for how long to irrigate”,
says a researcher at OMAFRA
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is recognized Provincially as the data custodian for soil information. The custody of the digital soils layer is shared with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through a Memorandum of Understanding. OMAFRA, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources, are compiling a high quality, detailed, geospatial soils database for Ontario.
The digital soils data was automated from soil survey reports and maps that were produced over the past few decades. The current soil database of Ontario is based upon a set of 44 soil reports, and their accompanying maps for Southern Ontario, and a further 12 areas of soil mapping for Northern Ontario. All of these soil maps, and their classifications of soil and land attributes, have been digitized and electronically “stitched” together to produce a single digital coverage. This is available from Land Information Ontario under the name Soil Survey Complex.
The soils data will evolve into a digital database that is spatially accurate throughout Ontario, consistent, and easily accessible in digital and paper format. Using GIS and NRVIS (Natural Resource Values Information System), staff are updating soil attribute information and correlating soil polygons that cross administrative boundaries.
Scientists from OMAFRA and AAFC are developing automated processes for resolving correlation issues across these administrative boundaries. Efforts are made to take advantage of recent developments in geographic information science, artificial intelligence, and the availability of high resolution data layers. These developments have given rise to new approaches and methods to mapping soils.