How Healthy Is a Farm's Soil? Check How Active Its Microbes Are

How Healthy Is a Farm's Soil? Check How Active Its Microbes Are

Since he started farming for himself in the early 1990s, he’s tried any number of tests that measure soil health, like basic nutrient profiles and fatty acid assays.“A lot of what people currently do is look at what the structure of soil is, but not what it does—the microbial activity,” Mohamed says.

FAO - News Article: FAO launches practical tools to encourage soil organic carbon sequestration

FAO - News Article: FAO launches practical tools to encourage soil organic carbon sequestration

Managing soils in a sustainable way and rehabilitating degraded agricultural soils and grasslands can therefore help mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis and improve food security and nutrition.

A Plan to Slow the Creep of the Sahara—by Planting Gardens

A Plan to Slow the Creep of the Sahara—by Planting Gardens

The garden is the latest iteration of the project known as the Great Green Wall, first envisioned as a viridescent belt squiggling thousands of miles across the Sahel region, from Senegal to Djibouti.“When the government plants trees, it’s the community people who will sustain them” Okolie says.

Hotspot Watch 9 April 2021

Hotspot Watch 9 April 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that widespread dry to very dry conditions are in place across most of the northeastern South Island, as well as Otago and eastern Southland.

Hotspot Watch 1 April 2021

Hotspot Watch 1 April 2021

As of 24 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that widespread dry to very dry conditions extend from southern Northland to Wellington, excluding Taranaki, and across the east of the North Island, as well as Marlborough, eastern and coastal Canterbury, parts of Otago and Southland.

Hotspot Watch 26 March 2021

Hotspot Watch 26 March 2021

As of 24 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that widespread dry to very dry conditions are in place across most of the central and eastern North Island, northeastern South Island, as well as parts of Otago and Southland.

Hotspot Watch 18 March 2021

Hotspot Watch 18 March 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that widespread dry to very dry conditions are in place across the northeastern South Island as well as parts of Otago and Southland.

Hotspot Watch 12 March 2021

Hotspot Watch 12 March 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought is in place in a very small portion of East Cape, while widespread dry-to-extremely dry conditions are in place across nearly all of the North Island, excluding parts of Northland, Coromandel and Taranaki.

Hotspot Watch 5 March 2021

Hotspot Watch 5 March 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought is in place in a small portion of East Cape, while widespread dry-to-extremely dry conditions are in place across nearly all of the North Island.

Hotspot Watch 26 February 2021

Hotspot Watch 26 February 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought is in place in a portion of East Cape, while widespread dry-to-extremely dry soils are in place across most of the rest of the North Island.

Hotspot Watch 19 February 2021

Hotspot Watch 19 February 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry-to-very dry soils are found in the northeastern South Island and along parts of eastern Canterbury.

Hotspot Watch 12 February 2021

Hotspot Watch 12 February 2021

Widespread dry-to-extremely dry soils are in place in the remainder of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, western Bay of Plenty, East Cape, and much of the eastern North Island.

Hotspot Watch 5 February 2021

Hotspot Watch 5 February 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought and severe meteorological drought are in place in the northern half of the Far North District as well as a small portion of East Cape.

Hotspot Watch 28 January 2021

Hotspot Watch 28 January 2021

The driest soils across the North Island, when compared to normal for this time of the year, are found in much of Northland, northern and western Waikato, and parts of the east coast.

President Biden, Please Don't Get Into Carbon Farming

President Biden, Please Don't Get Into Carbon Farming

But before putting any taxpayer money on this train, consider some inconvenient truths: First, the carbon farming practices being promoted as something new have all been in use for decades, and all were originally adopted for reasons unrelated to climate change.

Hotspot Watch 22 January 2021

Hotspot Watch 22 January 2021

Hotspots are currently in place in much of Northland, parts of Auckland, northern Waikato and a small portion of East Cape, while hotspots have strengthened in eastern Wairarapa and expanded to include the eastern Tararua District and coastal Hawke’s Bay. The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought and severe meteorological drought are in place in the northern half of the Far North District.

Hotspot Watch 8 January 2021

Hotspot Watch 8 January 2021

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought has emerged in the Aupouri Peninsula, with widespread dry to extremely dry soils in the rest of Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato.

Hotspot Watch 17 December 2020

Hotspot Watch 17 December 2020

As of 14 December, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that drier than normal soils are located in much of Northland, southern Auckland, parts of coastal Canterbury and Otago, and interior Otago.

Hotspot Watch 11 December 2020

Hotspot Watch 11 December 2020

Once again, significant rainfall occurred in the western North Island during the past week, with widespread amounts of greater than 50 mm from southern Waikato to Kapiti Coast.

FAO - News Article: World Soil Day highlights the role of soil biodiversity in boosting food production and nutrition

FAO - News Article: World Soil Day highlights the role of soil biodiversity in boosting food production and nutrition

4 December 2020, Rome - Soil organisms play a crucial role in boosting food production, enhancing nutritious diets, preserving human health, remediating polluted sites and combating climate change, but their contribution remains largely underestimated, FAO said today in its first ever report on "The State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity ".

Hotspot Watch 4 December 2020

Hotspot Watch 4 December 2020

Much of the South Island saw small to moderate soil moisture increases during the past week, also small decreases occurred from Clutha District to Invercargill.Due to the expected rainfall over the next week, the western and lower North Island will likely see additional soil moisture increases.

Hotspot Watch 27 November 2020

Hotspot Watch 27 November 2020

Some soil moisture increases may be found in the West Coast and upper South Island during the next week, but additional decreases will be most likely in southern Canterbury and coastal Otago.

Hotspot Watch 19 November 2020

Hotspot Watch 19 November 2020

Due to the expected rainfall over the next week, much of the North Island will likely see at least small soil moisture increases, with some locations possibly seeing moderate increases.

Hotspot Watch 12 November 2020

Hotspot Watch 12 November 2020

Significant soil moisture changes are not expected during the next week, although small increases may occur in the West Coast and lower South Island, with small decreases possible from central Canterbury to Marlborough.

Hotspot Watch 5 November 2020

Hotspot Watch 5 November 2020

Due to the substantial rainfall expected in the next week, at least small to moderate soil moisture increases are expected for nearly all of the North Island.

Hotspot watch 29 October 2020

Hotspot watch 29 October 2020

Soil moisture decreases were observed across most of the North Island during the past week, with the most substantial losses occurring from lower Northland through to Bay of Plenty and East Cape.

Hotspot Watch 22 October 2020

Hotspot Watch 22 October 2020

However, most locations in the upper and central North Island will likely see either little change or small decreases in soil moisture levels during the next week.

Hotspot Watch 16 October 2020

Hotspot Watch 16 October 2020

In the North Island, many locations received moderate to substantial rainfall amounts ranging between about 30-60 mm, including much of Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay. Meanwhile, amounts less than 30 mm were observed across eastern Northland, Auckland, Manawatu-Whanganui, and Wairarapa.

Hotspot Watch 8 October 2020

Hotspot Watch 8 October 2020

Meanwhile, the wettest soils for this time of the year are located from Manawatu-Whanganui to Hawke’s Bay. Despite the general drying of soils during the past week, no hotspots are currently found across the North Island.

Could a Tree Help Find a Decaying Corpse Nearby?

Could a Tree Help Find a Decaying Corpse Nearby?

But next year, they plan to take soil exposed to decomposing human bodies and apply it to plants in a greenhouse to see whether it changes the appearance of their leaves.