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Soil Sense

89 EpisodesProduced by NDSU ExtensionWebsite

Welcome to the Soil Sense Podcast, where we believe that building healthier soils is not just a prescription, but rather a pursuit. This journey requires collaboration, curiosity, and communication among farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, consultants, and extension. You’re going to hear… read more


Field Check: Understanding Soil Biology

“I’ve been farming for 40 years and for the last 4 years we’ve adopted an approach of conservation agriculture and have shifted to no till drilling. I suppose like many of my generation, have firmly  embraced the physical side of managing our soils and the chemical side of managing our soils. But it’s only recently while appreciating how important our soil is that I’ve looked at the biology of our soils. How do we make that subject more understandable to more farmers than it currently is?” - Paul Temple, Farmer from the United Kingdom

Dr. Samiran Banerjee is a Professor of Microbiology at North Dakota State University.  His focus of study includes understanding microbial patterns in agricultural soils and determining what drives their functions.

“The microbial world is complex but really important.  Microbes are really important for soil functioning. Microbes are important for crop health and soil health. Although we cannot see them we have to understand them.” - Dr. Samiran Banerjee

Dr. Banerjee is involved in the Soil Microbiome Project at NDSU. “We collected samples from over 200 farms….and at 3 different stages of crops,” shares Dr Banerjee. They then set out to identify microbial patterns and influencers.  They hope to create a database of microbial patterns including populations, drivers and functions at different times during the growing season. With this information, an index will be developed which will demonstrate what different practices could impact specific soil microbial properties.

“We want to link the soil microbial information to the management information to find out what changes we can make to promote crop beneficial microbes.” Dr. Samirin Banerjee

This could impact soil biological applications, what inputs could promote productivity of an optimal microbiome and help to predict microbial patterns in soil. Providing this practical tailored information to the farmer gives them valuable insight into the microscopic health of their soil.

Follow the link to participate in our next question and answer segment to share your questions and get them answered by the experts!

Connect with Soil Sense at Soil Sense Initiative

Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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