Producing fresh fruit and vegetables year-round has a hidden cost.
Would you be shocked by a supermarket without carrots, potatoes or broccoli, at any time of year? But harvesting in the off-season does serious damage to our soil.
Soil has many secrets: technology can help reveal its mysteries.
Mapping the soil with open source application is vital to understanding how to protect it.
Healthy soil teems with bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that help store carbon and fend off plant diseases. To restore soil, scientists are finding ways to foster its microbiome.
Healthy soil from an Oregon farm.
Aaron Roth, NRCS/Flickr
To help feed a growing world population, restore biodiversity and slow climate change, a geologist calls for a moon shot effort to restore healthy soil around the world.
Soils play an important role in the nutritional value of our food.
We're in danger of losing the health benefits of soils faster than they are replaced.
Microbes are tiny microscopic organisms such as bacteria and fungi that interact with soils and plants.
Microbial-based solutions for agriculture are among some of the new innovations having an impact on the sector in the developed world.
By unlocking phosphorus from soil, microbes help plants like these sugar beets take it up and boost plant growth.
Researchers are developing biological tools that can boost crop yields to feed a growing world population without harming human health or the environment.
Testing soils in back yards.
Lead contamination remains a persistent issue in urban soils.
In us, on us and all around us.
Microbes image via www.shutterstock.com.
Long viewed simply as 'germs,' the hidden half of nature turns out to be crucial to the health of people and plants.
Soil needs the right structure and microbial ecology to help your plants grow.
Soil is more than just dirt. It's a complex ecosystem and if it's healthy your plants will be happier.
A farm employee walks through a soya bean field in northern Uganda.
Increasing legume production can turn the tide for African farmers who struggle with poor soils, declining farm yields and worsening nutrition in one fell swoop
Researchers at several institutions are searching for microbial solutions for Africa’s low-performing staple crops.
Microbial-based solutions are perhaps the best-kept secret in agricultural innovation.
Beefy problem: livestock emit methane, but the soils where they graze can be much more climate-friendly than cropland.
AAP Image/Caroline Duncan Photography
Eating meat means greenhouse emissions. But the emissions from growing crops may have been underestimated, meaning that a climate-friendly diet isn't as straightforward as simply going vegetarian.
Modern day ecology involves large collaborations, such as this team at the Ethabuka South Site as part of the Nutrient Network.
Where once scientists used to be solitary creatures, today science is a highly collaborative affair, and the latest research in ecology is no exception.
Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for soils and Africa doesn’t have enough.
Nitrogen inputs in African soil must be carefully used. If they're not, there will be unintended consequences for the environment and human health.
The world’s driest areas are tipped to get even drier, with potentially worrying implications for soil productivity.
The world's 'drylands' – already home to 38% of the world's people – are set to dry out even more. And that could harm the soil microbes that keep soils healthy and help crops to grow.
The world’s soils store four times more carbon than its plants.
A new bid to boost the amount of carbon stored in the world's soils has been launched at the Paris climate summit.
Tens of millions of smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa have a stake in improving the health of the soil their cattle graze on.
Africa’s soil crisis calls for quick and creative action. This includes deepening farmers' knowledge about soil microbes.
Vineyard by Yellowj via Shutterstock.com
Plans to store more carbon in French soil could have a massive impact on the country's emissions – if they can pull it off.
Soil and water are crucial resources that need to be carefully studied and preserved.
There will be increasing demands placed on our soil and water in coming years, so we need greater research into how to preserve and maintain these precious resources.