published on 9/25/2017 1:03:00 PM in World and Machinery
Welcome back, dear friends! We have already talked about how the changing climate has a great influence on our farming methods. What you may not know is that even crops actively interact with climate.
A thin thread links these two elements in a cause-and-effect relationship, which is the present focus of the research study “Soil and Air” by the US Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Let’s find out more about it!
Between earth and sky…
It’s between earth and sky where farmers produce their crops. Here, soil and air quality influence each other. By studying this peculiar interaction we can improve the relation between agriculture, soil and resources. What are the ARS scientists working out?
- In Temple, Texas, the team is optimizing the application of nitrogen fertilizers on different types of crops. When adding nutrients to the soil, some of them are oxidized and dispersed in the air. This increases the level of the greenhouse effect. More gas means a hotter climate and an increased possibility of extreme weather conditions. For this reason, research has developed a test that enables farmers to determine the exact quantity of nitrogen to be dose to the soil for the plants’ benefit without impact on the surrounding environment.
- In Pullman, Washington, scientists have discovered some bacteria acting as non-chemical herbicides that are able to eradicate wild growing plants that suffocate crops and increase the risk of fire. These special bacteria have a positive influence on soil health and help to fight against weeds without damaging local crops.
- Another group of scientists is working on practices like covering the soil, reducing operations and stocking, as well as treatment and use of fertilizers obtained from nutrient fodders. By exploring all these possibilities, the soil, air and water quality are improved, minimizing emissions.
- Considering all the observed and forecast variations of climate change scenarios, it is necessary to take into account the possibility of more and more frequent heat waves and droughts. The tools to protect our yields go from the choice of early crops instead of late crops, the use of anti-burn nets up to mulching with biodegradable film.
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