Concentrate Organic Matter at Surface to Improve Soils

tilling the field

Intensive tillage with moldboard plow Organic matter is the key to soil quality, but building soil organic matter levels can be slow and expensive. There is an alternative. Research shows (Franzluebbers, 2002) many soil functions improve when organic matter is concentrated in the top 2-3″ of the soil, and that, for many soils and environments, this may be the most effective way to improve soil quality. Soil organic matter (SOM) is crucial for many soil functions, and so has been a primary indicator of soil quality. The % organic matter of the top 6, 8, or 12″ of soil is

The Promise of GMOs: Conservation Tillage

A no-till system with young corn plants growing in wheat residues. Photo by CIMMYT via Flickr.

This is a part of the series The Promise of GMOs. Do GMOs live up to the promises of the biotech industry? In the case of increasing conservation tillage, there is data to back up industry claims.

Misuse Of A Vietnam Era Tragedy

Mark Twain once said, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  There was a perfect example of that last month.  The Center for Food Safety (CFS) spread the term, “Agent Orange Corn” for Dow AgroSciences’ new biotech corn hybrids that are working their way through the regulatory process.   These hybrids have been modified to be more resistant to 2,4-D, an herbicide that was introduced in 1948.  This is being cast as a return to the use of Agent Orange and that is completely untrue.  There is a lot of