Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Original research article
26 May 2023
Original research article |  | 26 May 2023

Accuracy of regional-to-global soil maps for on-farm decision-making: are soil maps “good enough”?

Jonathan J. Maynard, Edward Yeboah, Stephen Owusu, Michaela Buenemann, Jason C. Neff, and Jeffrey E. Herrick

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Cited articles

Adjei-Gyapong, T. and Asiamah, R. D.: The interim Ghana soil classification system and its relation with the World Reference Base for Soil Resources, Quatorzième réunion du Sous-Comité ouest Cent. africain corrélation des sols, 98, 9–13, 2002. 
Awadzi, T. W. and Asiamah, R. D.: Soil Survey in Ghana, Soil Horizons, 43, 44,, 2002. 
Bationo, A., Fening, J. O., and Kwaw, A.: Assessment of soil fertility status and integrated soil fertility management in Ghana, in: Improving the Profitability, Sustainability and Efficiency of Nutrients Through Site Specific Fertilizer Recommendations in West Africa Agro-Ecosystems, Vol. 1, 93–138, 2018. 
Batjes, N. H.: Harmonized soil property values for broad-scale modelling (WISE30sec) with estimates of global soil carbon stocks, Geoderma, 269, 61–68,, 2016a. 
Batjes, N. H.: Harmonised soil property values for broad-scale modelling (WISE30sec) with estimates of global soil carbon stocks, [data set] (last access: 8 May 2023), 2016b. 
Short summary
Accurate information on soil properties is critical for identifying soil limitations and the management practices needed to improve crop yields on smallholder farms. This study evaluated the accuracy of soil map information for agronomic decision-making. Based on four publicly available soil maps in Ghana, we found that soil map data significantly overestimated crop suitability, potentially leading to ineffective agronomic investments by smallholder farmers.