Agriculture is essential to ensuring global food security. However, the agricultural industry is also one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Some agricultural practices can release carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane into the atmosphere. Incentivizing climate-smart farming practices by creating “soil carbon credits” is one way to reduce the impact of agriculture … Continue reading What is a soil carbon credit?
We explored how coastal areas are capable of storing carbon at a great capacity in a recent blog. The Everglades in southern Florida are also known as a reserve of carbon storage. Some areas of the Everglades have “tree islands” and a recent study showed they are capable of storing more carbon and other nutrients … Continue reading What is a tree island, and how does it help with carbon storage?
“Blue carbon” is a term for carbon captured by the world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems. Mangrove forests, tidal marshes, and seagrass beds are the main vegetated coastal areas that store vast amounts of blue carbon. It’s not really blue – it’s named after the color of the ocean. But blue carbon is an important tool … Continue reading What is blue carbon, and why is it important?
Cities can have many benefits when designed well, including reducing carbon imprints. Another way cities can improve their environmental impact is by using “low-impact development” with regard to water management. Also called “green stormwater infrastructure,” it provides planners with a toolbox of practices and approaches to manage water during rain events and snowmelt. On undeveloped … Continue reading How does low-impact development help manage stormwater?
In order to grow well, plants need a place to grow, access to nutrients, and in most cases sunlight. A rich soil provides that home and a good supply of nutrients. But young soils have less to offer – yes, soils can have different ages ranging from hundreds to thousands to millions of years old. … Continue reading How does young soil support plant life?
Minimizing soil disturbance is one of the key tenets promoted to build soil health in agricultural systems. Many farmers across the county have adopted reduced and no-till systems to build soil carbon, a central component to healthy soils. But what if you grow a crop where the part you sell is underground – like potatoes? … Continue reading How can we improve soil health in potato cropping systems?
Have you ever wondered about the living organisms in the soil? Let’s dig into the soil today and meet our very special friend. We will be learning about the secret abilities of this friend and how this tiny friend shows friendship to us. Our friend has a cool Latin name “Trichoderma.” Trichoderma is a genus … Continue reading What is Trichoderma and how is it beneficial?
Lawns are a major part of urban ecosystems. Turf grasses represent one of the major crops in the United States. The area of lawns combined would be about equal to the size of the entire state of Wisconsin. Lawns have several environmental benefits, including carbon sequestration, reducing urban heat, and reducing. However, if they are … Continue reading How can I manage my lawn to prevent nitrate pollution?
In a word, yes! In a paper published in the Journal of Environmental Quality (2021), researchers studied a type of submerged aquatic moss. Fontinalis antipyrectica has a common name of “willow moss” and can even be installed in home ponds. Willow moss is a species in the class Bryopsida, which includes over 11,000 moss species around … Continue reading Can moss help clean up waterways?
Improving soil health on farm fields integrates the three types of soil management: physical, chemical, and biological. Physical management includes how farmers use their equipment on fields – tilling, harvesting, etc. Chemical management involves the timing and choice of fertilizers, manure, and other additions. Soil biology is the next frontier being researched for optimizing soil … Continue reading What is the current research about soil additions to help soil biology?