Soil in the headlines

The lastest dirt on your and my (or perhaps just my) favorite Earth element:

Photo by John A. Kelley, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

  • Rather than rotting on asphalt, Oregon’s roadkill meet a useful fate. The northwestern state composts animals smashed by cars into plant-ready nutrients. Turning dead deer into good soil (High Country News)
  • As land is developed, hydroponics move into urban Africa. A look at soil-less cultivation in West Africa: Cote d’Ivoire: The Miracle of Gardening Without Soil (All Africa)
  • The lauded rover samples Mars’ planetary skin and scientists excitedly search for evidence of organic compounds. Curiosity rover finds organic compounds, but are they from Mars? (NBC News)
  • Following a dry summer, Iowa’s soil is still dried out because the fall also failed to deliver moisture. This may set the state and its farmers up for a challenging spring, with soil trying to overcome a water debt. As winter nears, Iowa soil moisture low (Omaha World Herald)
  • Over-medicated livestock raise concerned eyebrows from those watching the residual antibiotics leave the farm and enter soil and water. One study suggests microorganisms break down antibiotics in the soil and that the population of antibiotic-eating microbes grows along with livestock operating scale. Antibiotic-eating bug unearthed in soil (American Society of Agronomy)

Photo by John A. Kelley, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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