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Category Archives: Soils

Driver of Change

Picture1There is no substitute for money.

In preparing for upgrading lesson 7 of our project’s online course, I stumbled upon a book entitled “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st century” (National Research Council 2010). The chapter that interested me was Drivers and Constraints Affecting the Transition to Sustainable Farming Practices.

I am still not sure what “Sustainable Farming” really is, Continue reading

Trumped by Climate

soil-300x273OK. I just had to get the T-word in there as it seems to boost ratings. Sorry.

However, the statement “Trumped by Climate” is true. Think card game not politics.

Not a day goes by with a news story about extreme or unexpected weather impacting farmers somewhere in the world. Here are some stories on Flooding, snow, cold temperatures, drought, in the last six months impacting farmers around the world. No matter how we plan, there are some things that are out of our control. This latest news about global temps is not any more encouraging:  “February Smashes Earth’s All-Time Global Heat Record by a Jaw-Dropping Margin.” Continue reading

Conversation with Troy

cattle_laneway_Nick_01I have known Troy for a long time. He is a  trusted Extension Educator (agent) working primarily with beef and dairy producers in northern Minnesota.  Troy also farms – using livestock to maximize whatever vegetation and dry matter can be produced in a region that has less than ideal soils and temperatures for crop production. The details of his farming and production in his region are not so important, but a recent conversation with him brought home to me the reality of how decisions are made. Continue reading

Can the Soil Save Us? Part 2.

carbonpicThe second in the series from Crystal Powers (Project Coordinator, UNL) on Soil Sequestration:

In our second post (here is  Part 1) on harnessing soil to help us combat climate change, I want to highlight an exciting project to put carbon back where it belongs. The Marin Carbon Project  partnered with Dr. Whendee Silver of UC Berkeley to research and demonstrate compost applications to rangelands. Continue reading

Can the Soil Save Us?

IYS_logos_01It is good to be part of a team.

Crystal Powers, University of Nebraska Agricultural Engineer and AACC project coordinator will be helping with blog posts this year (as will be others on the team). She is starting with the first in a series of thoughts on SOILS!


The UN General Assembly declared 2015 to be the International Year of Soils  so let’s kick off the year exploring how soil may be the most underrated ally in fighting climate change. Several organizations are getting involved in this educational campaign including the Soil Science Society of America. Continue reading