A recent article (Dai et al., 2017) reviewed how biochars can be used to decrease soil acidity. Approximately 50% of global arable land has a pH value < 5.5 and is considered acid. Soil acidification occurs by:
Removal of farm products; and
Application of ammonium-based fertilizers.
Soil acidity increases toxic metal availability, especially aluminum and manganese, and reduce nutrient availability including phosphorus, base cations (potassium, calcium, magnesium), and molybdenum.
Can Biochar Help Manage the Fate of Veterinary Antibiotics in Livestock Farming?
In a recent review article by Tasho and Cho (2016) on the fate of veterinary antibiotics in livestock farming, it was noted that these chemicals are relatively persistence in the environment. Limiting the movement of these biosolids in the environment can be a challenge because of the varying physiological interactions. Electron irradiation and supervised inoculation of beneficial microorganisms have been proposed as effective remediation strategies.
Biochar and Antibiotics
Mitchell et al. (2015) reviewed biochar as a strategy to sequester antibiotic residues in the environment. Twenty-seven different biochars found that matrial prepared at higher pyrolysis temperatures (>500˚C) absorbed the antibiotics with greater efficiency compared with lower preparation temperatures. Continue reading Biochar and Antibiotics in Soil→
In 2004, I was fortunate to spend time with Dr Joel Wallach, a veterinarian and naturopathic doctor when he was lecturing in Australia. This meeting brought to life the intricate link between soil health-plant health-human health. I was able to interview him at that time and I was reminded of this interview after reviewing the FAO infographic. If you are interested in this interview, you can sign up for the audios by filling out the form below. Continue reading Soil: The Foundation of Mineral Nutrition and Optimal Health→
Can Soil Management Strategies Mitigate Extreme Weather?
Written just 2 years after Hurricane Katrina hit, Manale (2007) describes the importance of soil carbon in flood control:
“What does soil carbon have in common with Hurricane Katrina, ….the Great Upper Mississippi Flood of 1993, and the Red River Flood of 1997? For each of these extreme weather and flooding events, substantial investments in soil carbon, and thus soil organic matter in upland and coastal soils, could have saved the public both trouble and money.” Continue reading Soil Management Strategies Mitigate Extreme Weather→
Soil is considered a major store of soil containing more than three times the organic carbon in the atmosphere (Lal, 2003). Land surface models only account for the effects of net primary production and heterotrophic respiration (King et al., 1997). An article published this week in Nature Climate Change (Chappell et al., 2015) has proposed that SOC flux should include losses (and gains) due to soil erosion (and deposition). Looking at several long-term experimental plots in Australia, and estimating net soil erosion using three approaches, the results were incorporated into RothC (a model for the turnover of organic carbon in topsoil) to estimate net C flux with and without soil erosion. Using this approach, the model showed a consistent under-estimate of net C flux in the presence of soil erosion.