Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth – including the algae that grow in rivers and lakes. When phosphorus is lost from agricultural soils into waterways, it can allow algae to grow rapidly, which causes problems for fish and humans.
Plants can’t access all of the water that’s stored in the soil. Some water is held tightly in very small pores, some water freely drains through large pores, and some is held loosely by the soil so that it isn’t lost but plants can still use it.
Using fertilizer efficiently is vital for managing agroecosystems sustainably. It makes the most of crop productivity while protecting the environment. As agriculture has intensified, the use of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers has increased.
The warming of the earth’s climate and an increasing global population is presenting enormous challenges for the agricultural industry to increase food production. More frequent extreme weather events caused by climate change, such as drought, are problematic for the Northern Corn Belt, where simple two-crop rotations of corn and soybean are common.
“I have a view worth hearing, but I might be missing something.” This is the attitude of an innovator described by top business mind, Roger
Diverse crop rotations – those with a greater variety of crops over time – have been recently promoted as a means to conserve or increase of soil organic carbon, a key indicator of soil health. But taking a critical view of this claim, is it supported by science?
To till or not to till, if only there was an easy answer! Thankfully, a long-term research trial at the Ontario Crops Research Centre-Ridgetown can give us a place to start.