soil conditioning News

  • Polyethylene mulch, glazing create optimal conditions for soil solarization

    Soil solarization, a process that uses solar radiation to rid the soil of pests, is most common in regions with high solar radiation and high temperatures during the summer season. An alternative to soil fumigation, the process is used either alone or in combination with fumigants. To accomplish solarization, solar radiation is used to passively heat moist soil covered with clear plastic ...

  • Writing an equation for soil success

    Soil isn’t one size fits all. It may look the same under your feet – but under a microscope, that’s a different story. A plant’s roots, tiny bugs – these things can tell one soil from another quite easily. Soil scientists typically measure different aspects of soil — how much air it contains, how well it retains water, heat, and more — to ...


    By American Society of Agronomy

  • Manure runoff depends on soil texture

    Research has documented the rise of nutrient runoff from flat agricultural fields with high rates of precipitation that adds nitrates and phosphates to waterways. These nutrients increase the amount of phytoplankton in the water, which depletes oxygen and kills fish and other aquatic creatures. While injecting animal manure slurry into the soil has been proven to be an effective way of reducing ...

  • SoCo: Sustainable agriculture and soil conservation

    The European Parliament has requested the European Commission to carry out a study on Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation. Two Directorates of the EC are involved in this project: DG Agriculture and DG Joint Research Centre. The JRC participates in the project with two institutes: Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES: Land Management and Natural Hazards Unit and the Rural, ...


  • Nitrogen fertilizers` impact on lawn soils

    Nitrogen fertilizers from farm fields often end up in aquatic ecosystems, resulting in water quality problems, such as toxic algae and underwater ‘dead zones’. There are concerns that fertilizers used on lawns may also contribute to these problems. All of the lawns in the United States cover an area almost as large as Florida, making turfgrass our largest ‘crop’ and lawn ...

  • International soil conference opens in Brisbane

    “It’s underfoot but often forgotten yet our soil resources are crucial to our very existence,” says the Chief of CSIRO Land and Water, Dr Neil McKenzie. “Any gardener or farmer knows that soil is an astonishing material. It’s the natural reactor in the landscape that forms the basis for our supply of food, clean water and biodiversity.” Australia is a net ...

  • Pine plantations provide optimum conditions for natural forests to develop underneath them

    If there is any native forest in the vicinity, tree, fern and herbaceous species typical of these forests penetrate under the pine plantations without any need for action. That way it is possible, to a certain extent, for native forests to be restored, thanks to the process known as ecological succession. This is the conclusion reached by the UPV/EHU’s Landscape, Biodiversity and Ecosystem ...

  • Phosphorus-rich soils support larger invertebrates

    In a recent study, researchers have defined the relationship between soil conditions and nutrients with the health of soil ecosystems. The results suggest that organic grassland, rich in phosphorus, is supportive of large populations of bigger invertebrates. All living things are made up of chemical elements in certain proportions and the availability of these elements in the environment can ...

  • Simple method to estimate soil carbon stocks in grassland

    Storage of carbon in soil helps to keep land fertile and regulates the climate, and is therefore an important ecosystem service. However, mapping of soil carbon stocks currently uses unreliable measures. This study used data from a national survey of English grasslands to show that soil carbon stocks can be accurately predicted using simple measures of soil and climatic conditions. Two to three ...

  • Soil Scout selected as 2015 Red Herring Winner

    Soil Scout, provider of innovative ground measuring solutions for the agriculture, forest and environmental industries, has been selected as a winner of the 2015 Red Herring Europe award. Red Herring’s Top 100 has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring’s editors were among the first to recognize that companies such ...


    By Soil Scout Ltd

  • Grassy field margins enhance soil biodiversity

    Grass strips at field margins are almost as valuable as hedgerows in encouraging diversity of soil creatures, according to new research. Six metre wide margin strips increase the number and variety of species such as earthworms, woodlice and beetles, and may act as corridors between isolated habitats. The study analysed the presence of invertebrates of three main feeding types - soil ingesters ...

  • Soil carbon storage is not always influenced by tillage practices

    The practice of no-till has increased considerably during the past 20 yr. Soils under no-till usually host a more abundant and diverse biota and are less prone to erosion, water loss, and structural breakdown than tilled soils. Their organic matter content is also often increased and consequently, no-till is proposed as a measure to mitigate the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide ...

  • Producing strawberries in high-pH soil at high elevations

    Fruit and vegetable production in high-elevation areas can be a difficult enterprise. Variable weather and soil conditions typical of these regions, such as the southwestern United States, present multiple challenges for growers. "High frequency and intensity of late spring frosts in semiarid climates have made fruit production challenging," explained Shengrui Yao, corresponding author of a study ...

  • A model to measure soil health in the era of bioenergy

    One of the biggest threats to today’s farmlands is the loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil organic matter (SOM) from poor land-management practices. The presence of these materials is essential as they do everything from providing plants with proper nutrients to filtering harmful chemical compounds to the prevention of soil erosion. Sustainable management practices for crop residues are ...

  • Traditional rice helps beat soil salination

    Rohana Rosairo has hung a sprig of paddy rice over his front door, a good omen for prosperity from the first harvest he reaped a few weeks ago from a long unused field. Rosairo's field, across a dirt track from his home, was just a mass of weeds until April when he cleared the plot and planted seed paddy. 'My father used to grow rice here, but he stopped a long time ago,' he said. High salinity ...


    By IRIN

  • No-till improves near-surface soil properties

    Near-surface soil aggregate structural properties such as aggregate size distribution, stability, strength, and wettability determine the extent to which a soil will erode under water or wind erosive forces. Knowledge of aggregate structural properties is especially important in semiarid regions, such as the Great Plains, where low precipitation, high evaporation, and variable biomass production ...

  • ARS explores ways to keep carbon in the soil

    Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are testing out alternative ways of tilling the soil and rotating crops to see if they can help wheat farmers in Oregon sequester more carbon in the soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Soil organic carbon plays a major role in how well a cultivated field holds moisture, provides nutrients and remains productive. That can be a problem in ...

  • Farmers claim victory over European soils directive

    Proposals for a 'Soils Directive', that would have added significantly to the regulatory burden on farming for no perceptible environmental gain, have been thrown out by the EU Council of Ministers, following a sustained campaign by the NFU. The crucial vote took place on Thursday, December 20, when France joined the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, to block the Directive, resulting in ...


    By National Farmers Union

  • RECARE project to prevent and remediate soil degradation in Europe

    A growing world population has to deal with increasingly urgent issues of food security, flooding and drought, as well as soil pollution which threaten agricultural productivity and the environment. The answer to all these urgent issues could rest in the soil. Soil is vital to supporting food production as well as the filtering of water consumed by humans and plants. In addition, soil ...

  • Plant diversity: the secret to more nitrogen and carbon in soil

    Plants play a key role in soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) accumulation. New research suggests that plant diversity may have an important role to play in stimulating C and N storage in some soils. The findings suggest ways to improve carbon sequestration in grasslands and increase biomass production, for example for biofuel crops on nitrogen limited soils. Soil could be an important carbon sink ...

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