Soil Care Network Newsletter
June 2022
by Thirze Hermans, in collaboration with Anna Krzywoszynska, Emma Lietz Bilecky, and Michiel van de Pavert

 

Soil Research

A paper on 'Soil Priorities' in the European Union can be found here. A blog style article on the role of soils in the EU green deal and the paper was also published. 

Engineered soil microbe can convert CO2 20 times faster than natural photosynthesis

The need to stop ‘Helicopter research’ discussed at the world congress for research integrity in Cape Town. This has been an important part of soil science discussions, where helicopter science is not uncommon. 

In this invited piece in the European Journal of Soil Science, soil scientist Rattan Lal discusses “Managing soils for resolving the conflict between agriculture and nature: The hard talk” Bringing together challenges in agriculture, environment, Sustainable Development Goals and world peace.

Farmers are burying biochar in their fields for the biggest biochar research trial in the UK to date, led by the university of Nottingham.

Soil life

‘Earthworms on steroids’ in Connecticut 

Long-term warming associated with genetic changes in soil microbes

‘Soil your Undies’ campaign - bury your underwear to test soil health

Wetter farming: how bog restoration can please both farmers and wildlife

Ever thoughts that weeds could be good for soils? Guy Singh-Watson, from Riverford Organic Farmers, explains how weed can help with cover and shade during high temperatures.

Soil in outer space

Decades old moon samples are now used to grow plants. Does this mean we can nog grow crops in outer space? There are also photos comparing the plants grown in terrestrial volcanic soil, with the Apollo 11, Apollo 12 and Apollo 17 soils here

Soil, Art & Identity

Expressing identity through art in South Africa Attached to the soil’ - metaphorical soil art

The Art of Soil: How One Scientist Uses Dirt to Make Art

In Dunbar, Scotland, soil is the centre piece in a new art exhibition ‘Terra Infirma’ by Natalie Taylor. She has used microscopes to study soil organisms and used soil paint and images as inspiration. Local people are also photographed and portrayed as ‘Keeper of the Soils’. 

In this BBC sounds ‘start the week’ George Monbiot, Claire Ratinon (Unearthed: On Race and Roots and How the Soil Taught Me I Belong) and Sarah Langford discuss the food and farming revolution and the important role soils have to play in this. 

Soil & policy

 

The UK government published the Government Food Strategy putting the growth of the agri-food sector in the spotlight, while aiming to decrease environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions. However, some criticism has already emerged, like in this BBC article “Food strategy criticised by government's own adviser”

In this science news article the chemical and physical impacts on soil by war are discussed -  Russia’s invasion could cause long-term harm to Ukraine’s prized soil