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Study in Ethiopia links healthy soils to more nutritious cereals

October 10th, 2018 / The Conversation

Large fields, predictable rainfall and favourable temperatures have meant that farmers in Arsi Negele, a town in southeastern Ethiopia, have benefited from good crop yields. Their production of wheat and maize, two of the main food staples in Ethiopia, have also increased over time.
But there are worrying indicators that the …

Grow more food and mitigate climate change? Agricultural soil data could help

July 16th, 2018 / CGIAR

Soils are a complex matrix wherein many biogeochemical processes occur, storing and cycling nutrients like carbon and nitrogen, and providing the foundation for plant growth – ultimately supplying much of the world’s food. Meanwhile, agricultural soils also emit greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. A more comprehensive understanding of agricultural …

How healthy soils make for a healthy life

March 23rd, 2017 / The Conversation

The next time you bite into an apple, spare a thought for the soils that helped to produce it. Soils play a vital role, not just in an apple’s growth, but in our own health too. The formation of soil, pedogenesis, is a very slow process. Creating one millimetre …

On World Soil Day, scientists warn of underground extinction risks

December 8th, 2015 / Science

It’s time for ecologists and conservation biologists to better understand the threats facing soil creatures key to healthy ecosystems and our food supply. Some studies have documented local extinctions of earthworms and wood-decomposing fungi because of species invasions or changing environmental conditions. Now, a suite of new tools, including advanced …