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Perspectives on Sustainability Blog

The Pyramid Scheme of High Organic Amendment Rates

There are many soil health benefits of applying high rates of organic amendments. For example, a recent meta-analysis found adding organic amendments increased soil organic matter across multiple studies by an average of 29% in croplands and 34% in grasslands (Figure 1 below, Beillouin et al., 2023). This is the power of winning a pyramid scheme. What the studies don’t consider, however, is what happens to the losers of a pyramid scheme. What do I mean by all this? With organic amendments, all of it had to grow somewhere.

High rate of compost application showed stable yields in dryland wheat systems: a long-term study

Compost is used as a nutrient source as well as soil conditioner with a number of noted benefits in agricultural production systems. Compost application improves soil structure, soil moisture retention and builds up soil organic matter (Doran, 1996). Compost application has also been shown to activate soil microbial communities that help in nutrient cycling. Past studies have reported that compost helps improve soil water infiltration and binds the soil particles, helping reduce erodibility (Nigusse et al., 2015).


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CSANR News & Announcements

Roots of Resilience and Lazy R Ranch to Host Wildfire Management Workshop

Roots of Resilience, in collaboration with Lazy R Ranch, is proud to announce a comprehensive workshop, “Tame the Flames,” aimed at educating and demonstrating effective wildfire management strategies through grazing and forestry practices. Scheduled for June 22-23, this event will gather experts and stakeholders to share insights, strategies, and practical demonstrations on wildfire management.

2024 BIOAg Award Announcement

BIOAg, the Biologically Intensive and Organic Agriculture Program, is a flagship CSANR program that drives a large portion of our core mission- to engage WSU faculty with research that facilitates solutions for the sustainability of Washington’s agriculture.

Washington Professional Development Program Survey

Did you know that CSANR supports the Washington Professional Development Program through Western SARE? The goal of our professional development program is to help WSU Extension, CDs, NRCS, and other agency personnel to gain knowledge and skills that will help them serve their constituents in these areas to promote the health of Washington’s people, land, […]
"Advances in Dryland Farming in the Pacific Northwest" book cover image
Our book is now available! Georgine Yorgey and Chad Kruger, Eds. 2017. Washington State University Extension. Pullman, WA.

Now Available

Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest

Packed with tools, resources, and the most current research, this book supports farmers as they make decisions relating to productivity, resilience, and their bottom lines.

Free Printed Copy

Just Pay Shipping. While Supplies Last.

More CSANR News

New from Extension: Crop soils as carbon sinks; blueberry economics

New free guides available online from WSU Extension include a look at the benefits of storing carbon in inland northwest crop soils, as well as the economics of growing the Draper blueberry west of the Cascades. Every month, experts with WSU share new information through the WSU Extension Publications bookstore. 2022 Cost Estimates of Producing […]

New academy to connect specialty crop professionals across regions for climate resilience

A new training academy launched by researchers at Washington State University will help professionals supporting fruits, vegetables, seeds, and other specialty crops vulnerable to climate change build resiliency through forward-thinking conversations. Funded by a $1.5 million Climate Hub grant from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Foundational and Applied Science Program, a team led […]