The Week in Soil

Public evidence provided to Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry into the Government’s consultation: ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’ is now available to read online.

Food waste can significantly improve nutrient recovery in the soil with benefits for sustainable agriculture and in fighting climate change, according to the World Biogas Association.  A tonne of composted digestate may contain up to 70% organic matter, of which of 5% may be nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, essential substances needed to grow crops.

And not all food waste is created equal. In fact composted leftovers from Michelin starred restaurants can be turned into soil to grow superior fresh produce according to a British food waste startup.

And why just eat the food?  According to Alan Titchmarsh, children should be encouraged to eat soil directly from the ground to help produce the antibodies they need.

A greater understanding of the communication between microbial communities in soil could help scientists find ways to respond to persistent threats to crops – that’s according to a new study which revealed how harmful microbes use chemical warfare in response to threats from pesticides as well as from neighboring organisms.

What’s the perfect blend for long term potting soil?  Who better to ask than the experts at Kew gardens at their newly restored Temperate House?

In Fiji a new infrared instrument that has been adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Division to rapidly analyse soil and determine its carbon content or its physical, chemical, and biological properties.

Ever wondered how much soil does it take to make the perfect Welsh Monster Jam?  5,000 tonnes apparently…