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Take a look at some of the billions of organisms that keep our soil healthy

Posted on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 by

                   Long overlooked as just dirt beneath our feet, soil has taken on increasing importance as we recognize its fundamental role in everything from agriculture to climate change to human health. So, too, with the organisms that call it home. Soil is filled with more biological diversity than any other habitat on Earth. Its […]

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Improving soil quality can slow global warming

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by

Worker in corn field. Widespread use of proven agricultural land management practices can help slow global warming. Credit: Heather Dang photo, UC Berkeley Low-tech ways of improving soil quality on farms and rangelands worldwide could pull significant amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and slow the pace of climate change, according to a […]

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Healthy Soil: Good for the Farmer, Good for the Planet

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 by

Many people believe that if you just focus on soil health, everything else will follow. This principal is prominently featured in a recent New York Times Magazine article, “Can Dirt Save the Earth?,” which examines the practicality of regenerative agriculture.Moises Velasquez-Manoof begins his lengthy piece with John Wick and his wife, Peggy Rathmann, two decades after they […]

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Wrangler puts its corporate weight behind soil health

Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 by

In his excellent book Growing a Revolution, David R. Montgomery suggests that for far too long we’ve been arguing over organic versus conventional agriculture. Instead, he says, we really should have been focused on soil health. You see, there are big organic farms that are losing soil hand over fist. And there are conventional farms […]

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Turning desert to fertile farmland on the Loess Plateau

Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 by

Around 3,000 years ago, farmers settled on the fertile Loess Plateau in western China, a region about the size of France. By the 7th century, the rich soils were feeding about one quarter of the Chinese population. But intense pressure on the land eroded the soil. By the 20th century, desertification had condemned the remaining […]

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Millions of Chinese farmers reap benefits of huge crop experiment

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

Rice farmers in China increased their crop yields when they adopted new evidence-based farming practices.Credit: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/REX/Shutterstock A landmark project to make agriculture more sustainable in China has significantly cut fertilizer use while boosting crop yields on millions of small farms across the country, researchers report in Nature1. As part of a decade-long study, scientists […]

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Farmer-scientists driving social change

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had […]

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Put the Right Plant in the Right Place and Stop Digging

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 by

“Your garden’s so pretty! How do you do that?” my neighbor gushed. She: stylishly walking her dog; me: wet and muddy squatting down pruning broken limbs recently revealed by melting snow. I was about to explain I enjoy tending my garden and with a little effort her garden could be attractive too. […]

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How Crushed Volcanic Rock in Farm Soil Could Help Slow Global Warming

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 by

Volcanic plains tend to be fertile farmland. A new study explores how spreading crushed volcanic rock on farms can increase carbon storage and crop yields. Credit: SounderBruce/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Pulverizing volcanic rock and spreading the dust like fertilizer on farm soils could suck billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere and boost crop yields […]

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Farming crops with rocks could reduce carbon dioxide

Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 by

A new study has found that farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The pioneering research by scientists at the University of Illinois, together with U.S. and international colleagues, suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased […]

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