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Understanding soil nitrogen management using synchrotron technology

Understanding soil nitrogen management using synchrotron technology | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
As food security becomes an increasingly important global issue, scientists are looking for the best way to maintain the organic matter in soils using different methods of fertilization and crop rotation.

He cites three common ways for producers to introduce nitrogen into soil: synthetic fertilizer; manure or other organic amendments; and through cultivation of nitrogen fixing pulse crops. For all these methods, the nitrogen comes in different forms. Synthetic fertilizer is available as a variety of commercial products, with different nitrogen-release times, whereas manure and pulse crops need to be broken down by microbial decomposition before nitrogen becomes available.

Gillespie explained that fungi is great at breaking down lignin in plants and bacteria can help break down the rest, but adds, "nitrogen shifts the ability of bacteria to compete, so we are hoping to find out more about the role of fungi in the decomposition of organic matter in soil". Manure and pulse crops also add more organic matter to the soil, a benefit not realized using synthetic fertilizers.

The results of the experiment showed that organic matter in soil was heavily influenced by the type of supplemental nitrogen added.

"The overall trend showed that N additions allowed crop residues to decompose more completely. Specifically, we found less plant-type compounds in soils receiving nitrogen. In addition, we found that among the different nitrogen treatments, manure-enriched soil had the highest amounts of compounds related to microbial turnover," said Gillespie. The findings will prove important for farmers and scientists alike as they work to maximize the potential growth of food while maintaining healthy soils.

Ex



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-soil-nitrogen-synchrotron-technology.html#jCp

 

Increasing the organic matter in soils is key to growing crops for numerous reasons, including increased water-holding capacity and improved tilth. Scientists have recently used the Canadian Light Source (CLS) to evaluate the effects of various sources of supplemental nitrogen fertilizer on the chemical composition of soil organic matter. Results of their experiments to study this question were recently published in the journal Biogeochemistry.

"The big question I had when we started this research was how different nitrogen fertilizer supplements affected the overall soil organic matter composition," says Dr. Adam Gillespie, a post-doctoral fellow working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). "We also wanted to look at how we could optimize the use of nitrogen, since nitrogen fertilizers can be a solution, but also a problem."

Gillespie and his colleagues from AAFC, the University of Saskatchewan, St. Francis Xavier University, Lakehead University, and the CLS tested the hypothesis that the chemical composition of SOM would be different if the supplemental nitrogen originated from a synthetic fertilizer product, animal manure or a legume source.

The invention of synthetic fertilizer, where nitrogen is taken from an inert chemical form in the air and turned into ammonia, has had a profound effect on nitrogen cycling. In fact, astonishingly, humans have doubled the amount of available nitrogen in the biosphere.

According to Gillespie, 40 per cent of people alive today derive their nitrogen nutrition from synthetically-fixed fertilizer.

"Indeed, fertilization has had a profound effect on humanity as a whole. The downside of nitrogen fertilization is that run-off of nitrates to the surface waters or leaching of nitrates to groundwater cause problems with water quality and eutrophication in lakes. The recent algal blooms on Lake Winnipeg are a prime example of this nitrogen pollution. Secondly, nitrogen can be converted to nitrous oxide, which is an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Before fertilizers, nitrogen was introduced into the soil through rainfall or native pulse crops, so when fertilizer was developed, it revolutionized farming."



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-soil-nitrogen-synchrotron-technology.html#jCp
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Sanatana Pages: Organic farming and the centrality of the cow

Sanatana Pages: Organic farming and the centrality of the cow | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

Subhash Palekar Raises Agriculture to Spiritual Levels

For over sixty years, Indian agriculture was in a slumber. Our lands were scandalized by an unknown thing called as synthetic fertlizer. This was done to help the farmer get a 'better' harvest.

As the farmer started using it, he immediately noticed that, his soil had become infertile and could no longer bear crops for the next season. He was advised to add more and more fertilizer to the soil to compensate for the nutrient loss. Soon he was faced with another threat. The plants that grew with fertilizer needed pesticides. Soon, he started using these pesticides, which are deadly poisons. He noticed that the pests had become resistant to these chemicals as time went by. He was puzzled.

Our farmer forgot the ancient lesson that the soil HAD LIFE. He forgot that there were natural laws that governed the soil which his ancestors had obeyed from time immemorial. By thus obeying the laws , they had taken bumper harvests and had kept the land well cared for and transferred the land intact for posterity.

Subhash Palekar

It was at this time that a great mind set out to work in this field. He himself was a graduate of Agricultural science from a 'modern university'. He set out to work in his field using the British devised ways of Fertlisers and Pesticides and became an utter failure. He also ruined his land.

Then he set out to research on how our ancestors did so well in Agriculture without any of these chemicals. He consulted the Vedas, and the ancient wisdom literature. The result is a revolutionary, path breaking method, which Sri Subhash calls as 'Zero Budget Natural Farming'. Sri Subhash tried his method in his own soil and replicated it in various other fields tasting success every time.

An inspired Sri Subhash set out to teach this method to his countrymen. He has so far conducted not less than 1000 workshops, all heavily attended, to spread this new way of life for farmers.

The fundamental concept in Sri Subhash's work is that
1. Soil does not need nutrients to be added.
2. The soil has micro organisms which GENERATE NUTRIENTS for the soil.
3. It is possible to revive a fertliser damaged soil back to the natural ways.
4. That the new method require no money to do Agriculture.

Fascinating, is it not ? Read on for some more.

Sri Subhash says the pivot of 'Zero Budget Natural Farming' is the desi cow. He says that the desi cow's Urine, Cow dung and Milk have all the qualities required to rejuvenate the soil. Just ONE desi cow, says Sri Subhash, is all that is required to maintain a 30 acre Farm. He laments that the Desi- Jersi hybrid cows are of no use in his scheme of things.

What a sad thing ? The desi (country) cow is now has such a dwindling population that we need to revive them on a war footing. I wondered why the hybrid Jersi cow is unfit. A publication of 'Govardan', a voluntary organisation for Cow protection, says that the high yield Jersi was produced by crossing a wild pig and an Australian cow breed !

Sri Subhash has some formulas to revive the soil. One is 'Jeevamrutam'. This is not a replacement for Fertlizer , he says. Jeevamrutam is only a catalyst for the soil to generate its nutrients. He says that the 'organic manure','earthworm manure' are fads and are another recipe for disaster.

Sri Subhash condemns the university taught concept of burning the leftover plants after harvest. He says that these are to be left over in the soil itself by turning them over into the soil. This process of 'Mulching' helps the soil prepare its own manure.

And what about pests ? Subhash maintains that a naturally grown plant fights pests. But the plants in transit in chemical ravaged field can be protected by simply prepared 'natural pesticides' which arwe usually buttermilk, pepper and such simple combinations.

The Government Sponsored Chemical Mafia

A govermental survey states that the fertliser subsidy alone was abot Rs 13,000.00 crores in the year 2000. Add to this the pesticide subsidy and the farmer's burden. A report says that the pesticide business in India is the fourth largest in the world! Imagine what would have happened if the money is spent on raising desi cows, strengthening ponds and lakes, and protecting the village fiorests !

There are some criminal agricultural scientists who sit and lord over every governmental commission on Agriculture. These are the very people who are in hand in glove with the synthetic mafia and have been the cause of so much decline in production. Sri Subhash has alleged that our country imports foodgrains of about 5 million tonnes every year. This fact is not known to many Indians. The governments cheats here also.

Recently, a central minister went on record stating that poor Indians are eating more and this is causing problems. It is no wonder with such people at the helm, our Agriculture remains without policy.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, March 27, 2015 1:18 PM

Interesting questions!!!

Brandon Chesney's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:25 AM

This farmer in India had been using synthetic fertilizer to grow his crops. Because he used this he noticed that the soil became Infertile and he couldn't grow new crops for the next season. Since he could not grow anymore crops he started using more and more fertilizers which in turn led to having to use Pesticides. He had forgot the whole kind of law set in place about how the soil has life and was better than any other fertilizers or pesticides.

Neohouse's comment, July 27, 6:04 AM
Woa bài viết rấy hay . Mong nhận được nhiều bài viết từ bạn
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People Thought I Was Crazy When I Became a Market Farmer at the Age of Twenty Five. Here Is Why They Are Wrong.

People Thought I Was Crazy When I Became a Market Farmer at the Age of Twenty Five. Here Is Why They Are Wrong. | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
When I look at the reasons I became an organic, market farmer at the age of twenty-five, it wasn't because I am an activist. Although I am. And it wasn't because I care about the environment. Although I do. It was because I had a conversation in the parking lot of Thrifty Foods Grocery store,…
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Small farms may be better for food security and biodiversity

Small farms may be better for food security and biodiversity | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
We often assume the only way to feed the world's rapidly growing human population is with large-scale industrial agriculture. Many would argue that genetically altering food crops is als
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'understanding roots,' with robert kourik - A Way To Garden

'understanding roots,' with robert kourik - A Way To Garden | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
ROOTS. They’re the engine of the plant, but remain mostly unseen—unless something’s being added to the garden or dug up, [read more…]
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Why Your Urine Is Too Good to Waste

Why Your Urine Is Too Good to Waste | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Almost all of the nitrogen and phosphorous we ingest comes out of our bodies — what if we could return it to the soil?
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For 40 Years and With His Own Money, This Mandya Villager Has Kept Drought at Bay

For 40 Years and With His Own Money, This Mandya Villager Has Kept Drought at Bay | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
In a region that's suffered water shortage for years, the efforts of a 78-year-old have helped his village with a supply of water even during droughts.
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The secret to richer, carbon-capturing soil? Treat your microbes well

The secret to richer, carbon-capturing soil? Treat your microbes well | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
We don't have to understand every detail of the amazingly complex soil microbiome. We just have to feed it right, and it might work wonders.
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Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life, Part I

Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life, Part I | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Soil is so common that we can easily forget how precious it is. And it is so rare in the universe that we can easily miss its significance to our planet …
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The Science of Composting - Composting for the Homeowner - University of Illinois Extension

The Science of Composting - Composting for the Homeowner - University of Illinois Extension | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
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Pannirselvam's curator insight, September 6, 3:15 PM
comosting can help biodigestao
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(With music) Capillary water and how it can help to fight desertification

Groasis – a high tech agricultural company from Holland - sells the low cost Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology. The Groasis Ecological Water Savin
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Grassroots innovation? A fertiliser made of curd is reducing farming costs in Bihar

Grassroots innovation? A fertiliser made of curd is reducing farming costs in Bihar | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Scientists are yet to test this method but farmers in northern Bihar swear by it.
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The reel story on the farm

The “Reel Change” short documentary film production class that starts July 10 on Rossellini’s farm in Brookhaven.
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Urban farming is booming, but what does it really yield?

Urban farming is booming, but what does it really yield? | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
The benefits of city-based agriculture go far beyond nutrition.

Via Japan Aquaponics
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Eben Lenderking's curator insight, February 28, 6:11 PM

Fascinating and wonderful

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This 700-Year-Old Farming Technique Can Make Super Fertile Soil - The Plant Guide

This 700-Year-Old Farming Technique Can Make Super Fertile Soil - The Plant Guide | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
A farming technique practiced for centuries by villagers in West Africa, which converts nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could be the answer to mitigating climate change and revolutionizing farming across Africa. A global study, led by the University of Sussex, which included anthropologists and soil scientists from Cornell, Accra, and Aarhus Universities and the Rea
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Learning and Farming - An Indian View

Learning and Farming plays a very critical role in life of individual as well as society says Claude Alvares. He claims that though they seem separate, but
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Small-scale approaches to agriculture key to alleviating world hunger

Small-scale approaches to agriculture key to alleviating world hunger | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
A report by the US-based Worldwatch Institute confirmed that small-scale agriculture initiatives in developed and developing countries alike are the key to alleviating world hunger and combating climate change. The report calls for a shift in attention from industrial, emissions-based agriculture to towards local food projects that are environmentally sustainable.
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How to create fertility without buying fertiliser.

How to create fertility without buying fertiliser. | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
We're told in ever more sophisticated ways that we need synthetic inputs to grow food. But we can create fertility without fertiliser here's how.
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Can mushrooms and solar power fill Japan's vacant farmland? - Nikkei Asian Review

Can mushrooms and solar power fill Japan's vacant farmland? - Nikkei Asian Review | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
TOKYO -- Farmers in Japan could be in for a windfall if a new practice of combining agriculture with solar power generation takes root.Converting idle
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How Does it Grow? Garlic

Telling the stories of our food from field to fork.
Episode Two: Peeling back the layers of nature's most powerful superfood.

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 12, 3:17 PM

This 5-minute video is a good introduction to garlic, it's production, environmental requirements, nutritional profile and diffusion.  Historically, garlic was far more important than I ever imagined.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are many more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that.

 

Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, industryvideo, agriculture.

Edward Russell's curator insight, September 12, 5:15 AM
interesting little video
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How Trees Talk to Each Other

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery
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Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life, Part I

Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life, Part I | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Soil is so common that we can easily forget how precious it is. And it is so rare in the universe that we can easily miss its significance to our planet …
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The Importance of Developing a Sense of Territory - The Permaculture Research Institute

The Importance of Developing a Sense of Territory - The Permaculture Research Institute | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
One of the defining aspects of indigenous cultures around their world is their connection to specific territories where they have lived for hundreds and thousands of years. Compared to modern-day western societies which are more defined by migrations and mobility, indigenous cultures have their lives and livelihoods demarcated by the specific conditions and context of their places. While these sorts of territorial limitations may seem to us westerners as undesirable …
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The explanation of the capillary in the soil - Technology

The explanation of the capillary in the soil - Technology | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Trees do not 'drink' from ground water.
Trees 'drink' from capillary water.  Their instrument to drink from the capillary water is the primary root.  In this photo you can see the primary roots going downwards to the dark soil.  This
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Why Some Students Fail And Other Students Succeed - Illumeably

Why Some Students Fail And Other Students Succeed - Illumeably | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
The answer is not IQ.
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Inside The Vertical Farm Growing What It Calls "The World's First Post-Organic" Produce

Inside The Vertical Farm Growing What It Calls "The World's First Post-Organic" Produce | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Without using any pesticides or chemicals, Bowerya new vertical farming startup outside of New York Citydelivers fresh leafy greens within one da
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