GFM Network News

If your soil structure is poor and has low levels of micro-organisms, you won’t be getting the full bang for your fertilizer buck, says crop and nutrient management specialist Yamily Zavala.

Soil fertility is about more than nutrients

Expert says farmers need to learn more about the physical and biological structures of the soil

Reading Time: 2 minutes Many farmers tend to focus on the chemical composition of the soil, and ignore its other two key components — and that’s a mistake, says a crop and soil nutrient management specialist. “Farmers need to understand more about the physical and biological structures of the soil to manage their cropping systems,” said Yamily Zavala of […] Read more

Tight rotations may not harm canola yields — but soil health suffers

A long-term study on diversity in rotations produced some surprises, but the benefits were also clear

Reading Time: 3 minutes Brian Beres wasn’t surprised to find more diverse rotations increase cereal grain yields, improve soil health, and increase microbial biomass. What surprised him was how canola fared under tight rotations. Quite well, as a matter of fact. “It was surprising to see that canola didn’t respond to diversity if you looked at crop response variables […] Read more

Australian soil scientist Christine Jones had some complex slides but a simple message — photosynthesis 
creates soil.

Scientist says plants — not soil — are the building blocks of life

Australian soil scientist Christine Jones challenges conventional thinking 
by arguing microbes and fungi are the key to soil health

Reading Time: 4 minutes Though many claim that soil is the building block of life, Christine Jones has a different approach. “It’s not the soil that is the building block of life. It’s the plants,” the internationally acclaimed soil scientist and agricultural consultant said at a sold-out appearance in Olds. The Australian also drew a large crowd in Rycroft, […] Read more