Scientists compare soil microbes in no-till, conventional tilling systems of Pacific Northwest farms

Read the full post at Phys.org.

In recent decades, growers have increasingly been adopting no-till farming to reduce soil erosion and decrease fuel, labor, and inputs.

Wheat farmers of the inland Pacific Northwest, however, have been slower to adopt no-till, in part because—at least in the short term—they see more incidence of fungal soil-borne diseases like Rhizoctonia root rot when crop residues accumulate in the field. However, over longer periods of time, researchers located at Washington State University and the University of Idaho saw these fungal disease outbreaks decrease after farmers continuously practiced no-till over multiple seasons. This begged a research question: Is this due to some form of natural suppression by microbial communities?

The study of Yin et al, published in Phytobiomes, a new and fully open-access journal of The American Phytopathological Society, brings the scientific community one step closer to the answer, plus paves the way for further research.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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