Soil News stories

  Science & Research News

Science & Research News

1 Nov: A team of Rockefeller scientists have discovered an antibiotic in the soil that could be the solution to combatting tuberculosis.

1 Nov: NASA are working on plans to generate rocket fuel from ‘regolith’, Mars’ distinctive red soil, in an initiative dubbed a ‘dust-to-thrust’ factory.

31 Oct: A new study has demonstrated that organic manure is more effective in improving soil quality properties and crop yields than inorganic fertiliser.

31 Oct: Neutrons propelled to Earth by cosmic rays from space are enabling scientists in more than 25 countries to measure water in soil, helping farmers save water and adapt to climate change, even in the harshest climates.

31 Oct: Researchers have discovered that the soil in Estonia is surprisingly rich in species.

23 Oct: A team of international researchers has found that today’s mix of soil bacteria is strongly influenced by the climate of 50 years ago.

23 Oct: Researchers in Michigan are making efforts to map, monitor and understand soil moisture in forested landscapes.

18 Oct: Indian Scientists have showna that earthworms feeding on decaying organic matter in the soil increase the levels of organic matter and organic carbon.

17 Oct: A new study suggests ground-penetrating radar could be the next tool in helping measure moisture content in soils.

  Politics & Policy News

Politics & Policy News

1 Nov: The Committee on Environment, Food & Rural Affairs conducted an enquiry in to the proposed Agriculture Bill. Rewatch the session here.

1 Nov: The Landworkers Alliance are calling for an amendment to include agroecology and local food in the Bill and asking people to write to their MPs in support.

1 Nov: The Nature Friendly Farming Network also joined forces with SSA friends & supporters including the Soil Association, RSPB, WWF, the NFU and more to lobby the government for support for the environment & sustainable farming in the Bill.

30 Oct: The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs is urging farmers to start sampling their soil now. Only 18% of soils in the North are at optimum fertility.

30 Oct: the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster has launched an inquiry into the Agriculture Bill and the issues and challenges facing Scotland’s rural economy: deadline for contributions 11 January 2019.

29 Oct: Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Autumn Budget and Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato issued this scathing response.

26 Oct: A long list of eminent politicians, scientists and scholars issued some tough words for government on the need to take drastic action to tackle the ecological crisis we are plunging in to.

21 Oct: In Australia, former Governor General Michael Jeffery has produced a report calling for serious efforts to restore soil health.

  Stakeholder & Supporter News

Stakeholder & Supporter News

30 Oct: WWF published their latest Living Planet report, with dire predictions from leading scientists for the future of the planet’s environment and humanity.

26 Oct: The RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission launched their interim progress report, headlining with a direct link between soil and public health, and proclaiming soil a national health indicator.

22 Oct: SSA member Guy Thompson of EnTrade (Wessex Water) says it’s finally time for agriculture and water services to work together to benefit the environment.

17 Oct: The Landworkers’ Alliance celebrated the contribution of small scale farmers with the Good Food & Good Farming March.

17 Oct: Sustain, LEAF, Wildlife & Countryside Link, the Ramblers and more addressed soil health as part of last week’s evidence session before the House of Commons EFRA Committee inquiry into the Agriculture Bill.

Oct 12: Alliance members and supporters Sustain, Groundswell and the Soil Association have joined forces with the Gaia Foundation to create a programme of events in celebration of small scale farmers and their land called ‘We Feed the World’.

Oct 11: the European Soil Care research project are looking for contributions to their studies of what causes soil health problems and how these can be tackled. Fill out their short survey here.

For an archive of past soil announcements by date, see our section:  The Week in Soil.