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Entries with tag soil .

Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

The Joint Research Centre's European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) has published a  Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, which  provides a detailed analysis of soil organisms and the threats to soil biodiversity at global scale. The Atlas can be downloaded from  http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/global-soil-biodiversity-atlas
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£10M UK-India Virtual Joint Centres in Agricultural Nitrogen

A £10M investment from the Newton-Bhabba fund will support collaboration between UK and Indian scientists which will help meet the challenge of sustainably producing enough food for a growing population whilst reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The funding (£5M from the UK with matched resources from India) will create four new Virtual Joint Centres in Agricultural Nitrogen...
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Agri-Tech East to launch new Soil Health Special Interest Group

Microbial activity is more important in maintaining soil health and its natural fertility than previously thought and a new technique to visualise soil structure will be one of the presentations at the launch of Agri-Tech East’s new Soil Health Special Interest Group at NIAB in Cambridge on the 8th September. Professor John Crawford, Associate Director...
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Making efficient use of manure - new dossier published

Wageningen UR has published a dossier containing a selection of the most important results, developments and information relating to policy, manure application, the environment, processing and soil quality.  "Worldwide, animal husbandry produces large amounts of manure. This is rich in minerals (phosphates, nitrogen, potassium), but also in proteins, fatty acids and other...
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BBSRC and NERC fund initiatives to protect soils and safeguard global food security

BBSRC and NERC are working together, with partners, to fund three new initiatives to improve our understanding of soils, which are key to tackling many of today's global challenges, including food, water, and energy security, and climate change. Soil science is a key strategic priority for the Global Food Security (GFS) programme, of which BBSRC and NERC are both partners. Soil is...
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Earthworms can boost crop yields by up to 25%

Earthworm presence increases crop yields by 25%, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Van Groenigen of Wageningen University, and his MSc student Hannah Vos, used a technique called meta-analysis to combine and analyse data from 58 studies measuring the effect of earthworms in the soil on crop yield and plant biomass. "On average, earthworm presence increases crop...
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TGAC help improve harvests by completing genome sequence of soil bacterium

TGAC, together with the Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto (UNRC), Instituto de Agrobiotecnologica Rossario (INDEAR), and other European partners, have completed the genome sequence of a model strain of the soil bacterium  Azospirillum brasilense  to help improve farming productivity. The soil bacterium, isolated from wheat roots in the central region of Argentina, has been...
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Research shows how plant welfare is improved by fungi in soil

A University of York biologist is part of an international team of scientists that has discovered how plants use fungi to help them to gather vital nutrients from the soil. The team of Dr Michael Schultze, of the Department of Biology at York, working with colleagues in China, France and USA as well as the John Innes Centre at Norwich, studied the symbiosis between fungus and the roots...
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Repeated applications of manure contaminated with antibiotics changes composition of bacteria in soil

Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München, in a joint study with researchers of Julius Kühn Institute in Braunschweig, have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics lastingly changes the composition of bacteria in the soil. The focus of the investigation was on sulfadiazine (SDZ), a widely used antibiotic in animal husbandry which enters the soil via manure....
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Synthetic soils could play an important role in future sustainability

An interesting article in The Guardian by Rachel Armstrong (University of Greenwich) argues that synthetic soils could play an important role in future sustainability. Soil has a finite useful lifetime, and she argues that we are losing our fertile soils through neglect. In her research she uses inorganic chemistry to produce soil-like formations, and also uses 3D printing techniques...
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Symbiotic fungi may determine the future of soil carbon

When scientists discuss global change, they often focus on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and vegetation. But soil contains more carbon than air and plants combined. This means that even a minor change in soil carbon could have major implications for the Earth's atmosphere and climate. New research by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute scientist Benjamin Turner and colleagues at...
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New study highlights key role soil structure plays in water uptake by crops

The increased global consumption of food means that there is an increasing yield gap between crop production and crop usage. To help tackle this issue, a team of scientists from the University of Southampton has used advanced mathematical modelling techniques to understand the precise role soil structure plays in water uptake. Modelling of flow in soil and uptake of water by plants is...
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New soil testing kit designed to help farmers in third world countries

Researchers at the University of Maryland and Columbia University have developed a new soil testing kit designed to help farmers in third world countries. On-the-spot soil testing could have major impact in improving crop yields due to poor soils. The kit contains battery-operated instruments and safe materials for agricultural extension agents to handle in the field. They can test for the...
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