Science Daily - Organic Foods

Soil holds the secret to mitigating climate change

New research suggests that crop yields and the global food supply chain can be preserved by harnessing the critical, and often overlooked, partner in food supply -- soil.

How plants harness microbes to get nutrients

Scientists have discovered how plants harness microbes in soil to get nutrients, a process that could be exploited to boost crop growth, fight weeds and slash the use of polluting fertilizers and herbicides.

Organic farming methods favors pollinators

Pollinating insects are endangered globally, with a particularly steep decline over the last 40 years. An extensive 3-year study has found that organic farming methods can contribute to halting the pollinator decline. This beneficial effect is due to both the absence of insecticides and a higher provision of flower resources.

Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target

If the majority of dairy farms in Pennsylvania fully adopt conservation best-management practices, the state may be able to achieve its total maximum daily load water-quality target for the Chesapeake Bay, according to researchers.

Low-severity wildfires impact soils more than previously believed

Low-severity wildland fires and prescribed burns have long been presumed by scientists and resource managers to be harmless to soils, but this may not be the case, new research shows. According to two new studies, low-severity burns cause damage to soil structure and organic matter in ways that are not immediately apparent after a fire.

In soil carbon measurements, tools tell the tale

Soil organic carbon stocks are the amount of organic carbon found in soil. There are several common ways of measuring these stocks. Until now they were all believed to give pretty much the same results. New research shows not all tools give the same results.

Matchmaking for sweet potato? It's complicated

Field history matters when trying to apply the optimal amount of nitrogen for sweet potato crops. Cover crops grown in the same plots prior to sweet potato crops affected how much nitrogen was needed.

Agriculture: Quick soil test aims to determine nitrogen need

One of the essential nutrients for vigorous crop production is nitrogen. Yet most routine tests done in commercial soil testing labs do not measure available nitrogen in the soil. Soil scientists think they have found a solution.