NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CENTER "INSTITUTE FOR SOIL SCIENCE AND AGROCHEMISTRY RESEARCH NAMED AFTER O.N. SOKOLOVSKY”
The date of foundation of the Institute is 1956, but in fact its scientific activity began in 1924, when the Research Department (laboratory) of Soil Science was established at the Kharkiv Agricultural Institute. From this moment, the development of soil science in Ukraine begins. The founder of this laboratory was the world-famous scientist - Academician Oleksii Nikanorovych Sokolovsky. First, the Institute was in the system of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Ukrainian SSR, later - in the structure of the Southern Branch of VASGNIL, and now in the system of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. In 2015, it was included in the list of state-owned objects of strategic importance for the economy and state security, and in 2021-in the list of research institutions, enterprises and organizations authorized to conduct state testing of pesticides and agrochemicals. According to the results of the state certification of the Institute is assigned to the 1st classification group and included in the State Register of Scientific Institutions that receive state Support for 5 years.
The development of soil science and agrochemistry is inherently associated with the names of the Institute's leading scientists: Krupsky M. K., Grinchenko A. N., Kholupyak K. L., Grin G. S., Kuzmichev V. P., Obraztsova A. A., Demidienko A. Ya., Mozheyk A.M., Voznyuk S. T., Kisel V. D., Alexandrova G. N., Kochkin M. A., Novikova.G. V., Baliuk S. A., Kisel V. I., Batsula A. A., Buka A. Ya., Nosko B. S., Chesnyak G. Ya., Mikhnovska A.D., Medvedev V. V., Truskavetsky R. S., Polupan M. I., Lisovyi M. V., Yeterevska L. V., Fateev A. I. and others.
At the first stages, the Institute's activities were aimed at studying the soil cover of Ukraine, the main soil processes and properties. Gradually, new areas of research appeared, and their geography spread. The best practices in the field of soil bonitization, soil protection from erosion, irrigation and chemical reclamation are invaluable. The Institute made a significant contribution to the development of the Agrochemical Service of Ukraine. The activity of the Institute for large-scale survey and mapping of the soil cover of the republic (1956-1961) was recognized as a historically significant mission for Ukraine, it gave a scientific basis for agrochemical and land reclamation monitoring, soil bonitation, increasing tsoil fertility, rational use of agricultural land.
Now the Institute is a leading scientific and methodological center, which heads and coordinates research work on the problems of soil science, agrochemistry and soil protection of more than 20 institutions of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Institute is recognized as the main one in the country for the problems of soil science, agrochemistry and soil protection, it employs 168 employees, including 3 Academicians, 1 Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences, 9 Doctors and 33 PhDs. They are well-known scientists in their field, who continue to form the scientific school on agronomic soil science of Academician O. N. Sokolovsky.
In recent years, scientists of the Institute have developed a number of conceptual documents of national significance: the draft National Program for Soil Protection; the draft National Target Program for land Use and Protection; the Strategy for Balanced Use, Reproduction and Management of Soil Resources; Strategy for Irrigation and Drainage in Ukraine for the period up to 2030; Standards for Environmentally Safe Irrigation, Drainage, Irrigation and Drainage Management; Modern Concept of Chemical Reclamation of Acidic and Saline Soils; Concept of Achieving a Neutral Level of Land Degradation in Ukraine; the Concept of Organization and Functioning of Soil Monitoring in Ukraine, taking into account European experience; Concept of Agrochemical Support for Agriculture in Ukraine; Concept of Sustainable Management of Soil Resources of Irrigated, Withdrawn from Irrigation and Saline Lands.
Numerous proposals were made to the laws of Ukraine and draft laws of Ukraine "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the sustainable use of agricultural land", "On the turnover of agricultural land", "On amendments to certain legislative acts concerning the improvement of mechanisms for soil conservation and economic incentives for the reproduction of their fertility" when preparing proposals for the project "procedure for economic stimulation of measures for the use and protection of land and reproduction of soil fertility", to the Action Plan for the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Land Degradation and Desertification, to the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Irrigation and Drainage Strategy in Ukraine for the period up to 2030, a draft Law of Ukraine "On soil conservation and protection of their fertility" was initiated and developed. A number of national and regional recommendations have been developed for the economic support of developing the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises, achieving a neutral level of land degradation, adapting land use to climate change, reproducing soil fertility, efficient use of fertilizers and other resources, and introducing innovations in agricultural enterprises.
The efforts of the Institute's specialists are focused on solving priority fundamental and applied tasks aimed at improving the classification of Ukrainian soils harmonized with the International Classification (WRB), zoning and digital mapping of soils, developing scientific, methodological and informational support for diagnostics of their agroecological state using multispectral space scanning and aerial photography methods, studying regional features and patterns of agrogenic evolution soil management and development of predictive models of their development, development of the theory and practice of soil fertility management, measures to protect them from erosion, deflation, man-made pollution, creation of a modern information and analytical system structure for an environmentally safe and economically justified level of nutrition balance in the soil-plant system and crop fertilization systems in various soil and climatic zones of Ukraine, which is close to the real needs of agricultural plants. A new direction of scientific research was established and proposals were developed for the list of priority scientific research and scientific and technical developments aimed at creating competitive scientific and technical products necessary during the military and post-war period of reconstruction of the country.
The Institute maintains creative relations with a wide range of foreign scientific institutions in such countries as the USA, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Switzerland, France, and China. An important form of scientific cooperation is participation in international projects and grants received on a competitive basis. Customers of such works are: European Union, CRDF Civil Research Development Foundation (USA), Bio Oil Development s. r.o&co.ks (Austria), Private Institute of Applied Biotechnology "Radostim "(Germany), International Plant Nutrition Institute (Canada) and other international organizations.
The Institute has established: Technical Committee for Standardization TC 142 "Soil Science", which is a subject of the national system of standardization, and also implements the established tasks of state policy in the field of soil science, agrochemistry and soil protection; Center for State Service of Standard Soil Samples, its activities are aimed at providing measuring (analytical) laboratories with standard samples of soil composition and properties, Ukrainian Soil Information Center for the purpose of accumulating and processing information on the state of soils in Ukraine and their quality.
From the very beginning of its formation, the Institute opened postgraduate studies, and since 1994-doctoral studies. Since 1991, the Institute has had a specialized academic council for the defense of doctoral and PhD theses in three specialties: agro-soil science and agrophysics, agrochemistry-agricultural sciences and soil science-biological sciences. In 2022, a specialized academic council for awarding the academic degree of Doctor of Sciences was opened (council profile: 06.01.03 "Agrosoilscience and Agrophysics", 06.01.04 "Agrochemistry").
In 1965, an editorial board was created at the Institute and the publication of the Interdepartmental thematic scientific collection "Agrochemistry and Soil Science" was started, which is a professional publication and is included in the list of the Higher Attestation Commission of Ukraine. The collection's traditional headings are: Soil science, Agrochemistry, Soil protection, Works of young scientists, History of science, Chronicle. The collection publishes the works of researchers from many research institutes, universities, scientific institutions both in Ukraine and in foreign countries. The Institute is the founder of the Ukrainian Society of Soil Scientists and Agrochemists (PO"USSSA"), which consists of 23 branches and has about 1,000 representatives of leading agricultural scientific institutions and higher educational institutions. The director of the Institute is the General Secretary of the PO"USSSA", the leading scientists of the Institute occupy leading positions in the structure of the Society. Starting from 1982, the NSC "ISSAR within the framework of PO"USSSA" held eleven congresses of soil scientists and agrochemists.
For significant scientific achievements in the field of soil science and agrochemistry, employees of the Institute were repeatedly awarded Diplomas and Certificates of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the State Agency for Land Resources of Ukraine, the State Agency for Water Resources of Ukraine, the State Institution "Institute for Soil Protection", the Honorary Badge of Distinction and the Certificate of Honor of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. Researchers were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, recognized as laureates of the State Scholarship for Outstanding Scientists, laureates of the NAAS competition "For outstanding achievements in agricultural science". On the occasion of the half-century anniversary, the Institute's staff was awarded a Certificate of Honor from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Talented young scientists of the Institute were awarded prizes of the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and a personal scholarship of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, scholarships of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.