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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Author: Karen Hills

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Get out the Map! A Soil Health Roadmap for Washington

Soil has been called “the living skin of the Earth.” The effort to maintain the health of this “living skin” in Washington got a boost…

What Does Climate Change Mean for Flooding in the Columbia River Basin?

Previous posts by CSANR researchers on our sister blog, AgClimate.net, have focused on research related to anticipated climate change impacts on water availability and timing…

BIOAg in Action: Using Mycorrhizal Inoculants in Washington Wine Grape Production

When it comes to organisms living in the soil, we mostly hear about the “bad guys”—soilborne pests. However, there are many soil organisms that are…

Announcement – SoilCon: Washington Soil Health Week

Don’t forget to register for this upcoming event! Washington State University's Soil Health Initiative with sponsorship from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education will bring…

Closing the Loop: How Well Could Fertilizer Derived from Dairy Manure Meet Crop Nitrogen Demand in Whatcom County, Washington

Manure can play a valuable role in crop production because of its ability to build soil fertility and soil health. Ironically, manure can pose a…

How Interested are Crop Farmers in Using a Fertilizer Derived from Dairy Manure?

It used to be that livestock and crops were integrated on a single farm and manure provided an important source of fertility for crop production.…

Compost Emissions – More Than Just a Matter of Smell

Composting organic waste is, in many ways, a win-win scenario. It diverts waste from the landfill, while creating a valuable soil amendment (explored in my…

Municipal Compost Use in Agriculture: A Question of Cost and Value

Composting rather than landfilling organic waste, such as food waste and yard trimmings, has several benefits from a climate perspective. A recent study in Washington…

Boutique Biochars: Exploring Engineering Strategies to Increase Phosphate Adsorption

Biochar is produced by pyrolysis of woody (technically, lignocellulosic) materials. By controlling the conditions under which it is produced, researchers can engineer biochar to be…

A New Method for Measuring Plant Available Water Capacity Helps Document Benefits of Biochar-Soil Mixtures

Biochar has potential to draw down atmospheric carbon when applied to agricultural soils (as discussed in my previous article on this topic). There is currently…
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