• Woods End Laboratories LLC has received funding in a collaborative USDA Project assessing carbon reserves in lands under CRP (Conservation Reserve Program).
  • This first of a kind project combines geo-spatial modelling, soil sampling and soil analyses to quantify and compare soil organic carbon accrual and ecosystem services.

MOUNT VERNON, MAINE, USA –– OCTOBER 26, 2021 –– Woods End Laboratories LLC (“Woods End”) is pleased to announce it is a recipient of a USDA research award intended to perform integrated soil sampling, analysis and reporting of the carbon status of US CRP lands.

The project principal investigator is Bruno Basso Ph.D. whose lab at Michigan State University (MSU) is a pioneer of geo-spatial methodologies to discern spatial and temporal stability zones affecting farm soil productivity.

The Award Team will fully utilize Woods End’s expanded capabilities as a joint venture company of Deveron Corp. and A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. and will identify and sample soils at 600 CRP grassland sites across the country.

The project is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investment of $10 million in new initiatives to sample, measure, and monitor soil carbon on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to better quantify the climate outcomes of the program: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2021/usda-launches-first-phase-of-soil-carbon-monitoring-efforts-through-conservation-reserve-program-initiative.

The project is linked to recent updates by USDA of the Climate-Smart Practice Incentive. This aims to increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2021/usda-expands-and-renews-conservation-reserve-program-in-effort-to-boost-enrollment-and-address-climate-change

Woods End Labs recently demonstrated it’s new, expanded capabilities in the joint venture by integrating sampling and lab analysis for a MSU-funded 10-farm study across the Midwest. The researchers identified four spatial stability zones reflecting long-term farm productivity and closely examined topsoil and subsoil samples within each zone for soil health results. This research revealed that key soil health indicators developed since 1985 at Woods End Laboratories combined with newer microbiome methods developed by A&L Canada Laboratories Inc., correlated well with the historical field stabilities generated with the MSU mapping techniques.

Preliminary findings of the study will be presented by Dr. Basso (MSU) and Dr. Brinton (Woods End) at the upcoming ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings in Salt Lake City, UT November 7 – 10.

Woods End Laboratories LLC provides leading sustainability services to the agri-food industry enabling more successful and responsible interaction of agriculture & the environment with offerings in compost quality, soil fertility and product biodegradability assessment. The firm is the developer and distributer of the Solvita® brand of soil and compost diagnostic products. Woods End Labs was the first commercial lab in America to launch integrated soil health by combining biological, chemical, and physical indicators following the initiation in Europe of healthy soil assessment protocols in the 1980’s.

Woods End is also a pioneer of a new scoring protocol for soil health tests. In addition to test indicators the algorithm uses spatial-scale modelling based on SSURGO (soil type) maps. This approach enables test results to be better scored against a range of values expected within the specific eco-physical zones, instead of the uniform approach such as found in Haney and CASH tests.

More recently USDA-ARS has developed a scoring protocol called SHAPE to better rank soil organic carbon results. According to Brinton, Woods End is the first private lab to have a rank-order system. Methods to realistically rank soil health results are urgently needed since common tests for soil health apply the same yardstick across widely varying soil and management zones.

The enlarged Woods End Joint Venture team plans broadscale innovation of targeted soil sampling, stability zone assessment and broad-based soil biology indicators for all clients across North America.

Woods End Laboratories LLC combines:

  • Woods End Laboratories [Solvita® Soil Health Products, Research – agriculture & environmental]
  • Deveron [Soil Collection, both in-field and imagery]
  • A&L Canada Laboratories [Full-Service Agriculture, Environmental and Food and Testing & Analysis, Agronomy, Biologicals, and Research]

“We’re honored to be recognized and be working in soil carbon analysis along with leaders such as Bruno Basso and his team at MSU,” stated Woods End Founder and Chief Science Officer Will Brinton. “Integrating the skills and expertise of Woods End, Deveron and A&L on soil projects supports our vision of the role of the new JV company.”

About Woods End:  Woods End Laboratories was founded as a soil biology testing lab in 1974 and has grown and evolved into a firm providing a broad range of scientific support services for more successful and responsible environmental interaction of agriculture with nature. In April 2021, Deveron Corp. (www.deveron.com)  and A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. (www.alcanada.com) formed a new joint venture company and acquired Woods End Laboratories.

Woods End was the first to introduce soil health testing as a means to gauge soil biological fertility. The firm invented and developed the Solvita® brand of products for measuring biological respiration, aggregate stability, and amino-nitrogen soil pools. It was the first to experiment with IR methods for stand-alone measurement of CO2 emissions from agricultural samples. Growers, farmers, conservationists, students, and others worldwide use Woods End’s products and services to monitor soil health, foodstuff spoilage and compost stability. Woods End is a Good Laboratory Practice-certified lab for non-clinical studies on biodegradation, providing leading edge research for developing sustainable packaging and chemicals. For more information, please visit www.woodsend.com.

For more information contact: 

Dr. Will Brinton
Chief Science Officer and Founder
Woods End Laboratories LLC