Decision Support System for

Soil Health Assessment

Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry

Indian Agricultural Research Institute

New Delhi






  Hill Soil

      Parameter Ratings

      Soil Health Index Calculator

      About us




An online decision support system for assessing soil health which has been developed under the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) of Andrews et al. (2004). “Environmental Protection” was chosen as primary management goal for which nutrient cycling, physical stability and support, water relations, resistance and resilience, filtering and buffering and biodiversity and habitat were chosen as supporting soil functions. Scoring of all the data was done in standardized non-linear scoring function (NLSF) (Wymore, 1993). Based on the range of each soil health indicators and its measures and reported critical values, the limits/thresholds were fixed (Bhaduri and Purakayastha, 2014. Using the NLSF equation three types of standardized scoring functions typically used for soil quality assessment was generated i. more is better, ii. less is better, iii. optimum is better. Ratings for various soil functions were determined by summing the weight of individual soil indicator with score. The conceptual framework based soil health index was developed by sum of ratings for individual soil functions (Ri) multiplied by weightage (Wi) given for individual soil function.

Soil Health Index (SHI) = ΣRi× Wi

Here the assumption is that higher index scores mean better soil health or greater performance of soil function. The SHI is rated as:

 > 0.90, 0.75-0.90, 0.50-0.75, 0.25-0.50 and <0.25 for interpreting the health of soil as excellent, very good, good, poor and very poor, respectively. The introduction of the values of soil health parameters in the on-line decision support system will automatically calculate the soil health index and interpret the overall health of the soil under consideration. The online decision support system has been developed for the Hill Soils of Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. It is mandatory to analyze all the prescribed soil parameters for calculation of SHI by this decision support system.



  1. Andrews, S.S., Karlen, D.L., Cambardella, C.A. 2004. The soil management assessment framework: A Quantitative soil quality evaluation method. Soil Science Society of America Journal 68: 1945-1962.

  2. Bhaduri, Debarati and Purakayastha, T.J. 2014. Long-term tillage, water and nutrient management in rice-wheat cropping system: Assessment and response of soil quality. Soil and Tillage Research 144: 83-95.


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Designed and developed by Dr.  Kalpana H. Kamble, Division of Agricultural Physics, IARI, New Delhi


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