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Soil Health Tech Bulletin I (2017)

Soil Health is on every one’s mind these days and most people are looking towards more sustainable agriculture with a reduction in the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Soil Health is a combination of biological, chemical and physical properties that combined determine the Soil Quality but more importantly of recent termed Soil Health. These two terms will continue to overlap as we look at soil, not just as a lifeless inert growing medium but more as a living, dynamic and continually changing ecological environment. Healthy soils are all about the interaction between plants and soil microorganisms that complete this cycle of life and the activities going on in the top 15 cm of soil that supports most of the life on this plant. This is less understood than the vast universe that we are a part of. Researchers today are looking at the human biome and what is happening with the microbial population in the human gut and how we function. Our research on soil health is finding that the plant rhizosphere is much like the human gut or I relate it to the gut of the plant and the interaction of the microbes in the rhizosphere is much like the relationship in the human gut. Research at A&L on soil health is taking on an ecological approach where we are studying the relationship between plant and the soil biome and the signaling that takes place here.

Clubroot in the Peace Region (2017)

Imagine you couldn’t grow canola, warns farm leader.  Clubroot’s arrival in the Peace isn’t a shocker, but it’s another sign 
farmers are flirting with disaster, say canola experts.  If you’re growing non-resistant canola varieties, you could wake up one day to find ‘astronomical’ levels of clubroot spores, says agronomist Dan Orchard.

With Designer Bacteria, Crops Could One Day Fertilize Themselves (2017)

For the last 100 years, ever since German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch figured out how to pluck fertilizer out of thin air with brute-force chemistry, farmers have relied on an imperfect product to make their plants grow: fertilizer. Production of the stuff burns through 3 percent of the world’s natural gas annually, releases tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and runs off into rivers and streams and aquifers. Relying on fossil fuels to grow food was never exactly sustainable.