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Soil Health Tech Bulletin II (2017)

BIOLOGICAL SOIL HEALTH TEST: Microbial diversity is an excellent indicator of soil health (Nielsen and Winding 2002). They report that variation in microbial population or activities precede changes that can be noticed in some cases as early signs of soil degradation or amelioration. Water and nutrient supply from soil, particularly N and P, determine the plant growth both in natural and agro-ecosystems. It is important to understand that the above ground vegetation is the ultimate source of C for the microbes in the rhizosphere that, in turn, support the macro-fauna.

Tree fruit replant applications due November 15

British Columbia’s tree fruit growers are being reminded they have until Nov. 15, 2017, to apply for replant funding as they prepare for next year’s growing season. The replant program helps growers replace fruit trees with new, high-value and high-quality fruit such as ambrosia and honeycrisp apples as well as late-season cherries. These new varieties meet consumer demands locally and around the globe. In 2016, B.C. fruit growers produced more than 128,000 tonnes of apples, cherries, peaches, pears, plums/prunes, nectarines and apricots. The total represents close to one-third of Canadian production and over $116 million in farm cash receipts.

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.