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SOiL

SOiL

Role of Soil Biology in Improving Soil Quality

Presented by Kristine Nichols, Ph.D., Soil Microbiologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service Soil as the heart of the farming ecosystem is driven by biological activities to increase soil organic matter, which represents a small percentage of the soil by weight, but controls over 90% of the soil functions. This presentation introduces viewers to the concepts of 1) rhizosphere biology, the area immediately surrounding the plant root with the highest concentration of microbiological activity; 2) soil "livestock" consisting of bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa and microarthropods and representing the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet; 3) glomalin, a biological glue that holds soil together and improves soil aggregation; and 4) building soil biota to improve soil quality, increase nutrient cycling, and long term sustainability using cover crops, no-till, and other sustainable farming practices. The opinions expressed in this video are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of USDA.

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