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Latest Soil Stories

2012-05-15 13:15:21

Underground soil cracks persist Deep cracks in soil can remain open underground even after they have visibly sealed on the surface, a new study has found. The results could have important implications for agricultural management around the timing and intensity of water and pesticide applications. "These soils are very fertile and provide the most productive agricultural land in Australia," said lead author Dr Anna-Katrin Greve, a postdoctoral fellow with UNSW's Connected Waters...

2012-05-09 12:05:42

It was all too evident during the Dust Bowl what a disastrous impact wind can have on dry, unprotected topsoil. Now a new study has uncovered a less obvious, but still troubling, effect of wind: Not only can it carry away soil particles, but also the beneficial microbes that help build soil, detoxify contaminants, and recycle nutrients. Using a powerful DNA sequencing technique, called pyrosequencing, a team led by USDA-ARS scientists Terrence Gardner and Veronica...

2012-05-03 16:04:00

UD's long-term monitoring shows 60 percent reduction in acidity of Delaware rain Several decades ago, precipitation in Delaware was among the most acidic in the country. Pollutants in the air reacted with rainwater to sprinkle sulfuric, nitric and carbonic acids onto the ground below, affecting crops and ecosystems statewide. The scientific consensus is that pollution controls enacted through the Clean Air Act Amendments in the 1990s and other measures have helped decrease the acidity...

2012-04-25 09:46:08

Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have discovered that maize crops emit chemical signals which attract growth-promoting microbes to live amongst their roots. This is the first chemical signal that has been shown to attract beneficial bacteria to the maize root environment. The study was led by Dr Andy Neal of Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire and Dr Jurriaan Ton of the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant...

2012-04-12 23:03:00

New book from Josh Henkin details sandbag training system for athletes, weekend warriors and fitness enthusiasts Scottsdale, Ariz. (PRWEB) April 12, 2012 With Americans on a never-ending hunt for the magic pill or piece of equipment to get healthy, functional fitness expert Josh Henkin has developed a training system that uses a widely available resource to achieve fitness success -- sandbags. In his new book, “Sandbag Training for Athletes, Weekend Warriors and Fitness...


Latest Soil Reference Libraries

Sheet Mulching
2013-08-05 12:36:35

Sheet mulching, or lasagna gardening, is the process of turning barren ground into a more nourishing garden without digging. It is a layered system that can be used for a yard garden or a topical box garden. Starting at the bottom is a weed proof barrier, like newspaper or cardboard. On top of that is a twelve-inch layer of compost or mulch material such as old clothes, yard clippings, and manure, which provides for nutrient rich soil. Weed-free soil is added prior to planting the desired...

Desertification
2013-04-02 09:46:56

Desertification is a form of land degradation in which a comparatively dry land area becomes more and more arid, normally losing its bodies of water along with its wildlife and vegetation. This is a result of a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities. Desertification is an important global, ecological, and environmental issue. There is substantial controversy over the proper definition of the term “desertification”. The most broadly accepted of these is that of...

Land Degradation
2013-04-02 09:20:15

Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by one or more combination of human-induced processes acting on the land. It is also the gradual destruction or reduction of the quality and quantity of human activities, animal activities or natural means. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or unwanted. Natural hazards are not included in the causes; however, human activities can indirectly affect...

Erosion
2013-04-01 12:48:39

Erosion is the process by which rock and soil are taken from the surface of the Earth by exogenetic processes like wind or the flow of water, and then transported and deposited in another location. While erosion is a natural process, human activities have increased by 10 to 40 times the rate at which erosion is happening globally. Excessive erosion results in problems such as desertification, decreases in agricultural productivity because of land degradation, sedimentation of waterways,...

Soil Salinity
2013-04-01 11:15:13

Soil salinity is the salt content within the soil; the process of increasing the content of salt is known as salination. Salt is a natural element of water and soils. Salination can be a result of natural processes such as the gradual withdrawal of an ocean or mineral weathering. It can be caused by artificial processes such as irrigation as well. Soils that are affected by salt are a result of excess accumulation of salts, normally most obvious at the surface of the soil. Salts can be...

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Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.