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Past and present advances in the fields of agronomic, crop, soil, and environmental sciences. Enjoy interviews with researchers published in journals, books, and magazines from the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. Opinions and conclusions expressed by authors are their own and are not considered as those of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, its staff, its membe ...
 
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“Earthworm density differences over time among a native tallgrass prairie and chronosequence of tallgrass prairie restorations in the Ozark Highlands” and “Seasonal earthworm density differences among mound positions and soil moisture regimes in native tallgrass prairies in the Ozark Highlands” with Dr. Kristofor Brye Earthworms are praised as envi…
 
Fieldwork Ready with Dr. Sara Vero. Fieldwork and lab work are two sides of the same scientific coin. However, when preparing for fieldwork, there are many things to consider that don’t come up in a lab. This episode, we talk with Dr. Sara Vero about her new book, Fieldwork Ready, which covers anything from the practical ins and outs of common fiel…
 
Sustainable farming systems are critical for all of us, from producers to consumers. It’s therefore important for the full supply chain–from food companies and ingredient suppliers, to farm service providers, to CCAs, and farmers–to support sustainable agriculture practices, many of which can have a beneficial impact on pest management. This episod…
 
Seed banks are collections of seeds that researchers use to protect valuable genetic resources both for breeding and conservation purposes. But where did they get started and how have they become what they are today? On this episode, Dr. Helen Anne Curry will guide us through the history of seed banks, including their origins, the various phases of…
 
“Varietal Timelines and Leadership Challenges Affecting the Legacy of Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov” with Dr. Joel Cohen Nikolai Vavilov was an agronomist and seed collector whose life spanned the regimes of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. These were years plagued by extreme famine, especially in the Ukraine. Vavilov strove to follow Mendelian scienc…
 
“IPM Toolkit Preservation” with Dr. Bryan Ulmer. Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a system by which pests are controlled using informed decision-making techniques. These techniques are many are varied, but so are the threats to their continued use. This episode, for the third episode in our IPM miniseries, Bryan will walk us through the types…
 
“The Impact of pH and Ion Exchange on 133Cs Adsorption on Vermiculite” with Dr. Dan Ferreira. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami led to the explosion of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The explosions resulted in radioactive particles being released into the air, which eventually settled on neigh…
 
“Using Cover Crops as an IPM Tool for Managing Hard-to-Control Weeds” with Dr. Christopher Proctor. Cover crops are crops grown between cash crops like corn, wheat, and soybean that provide valuable ecosystem services—or ecosystem benefits—to the surrounding crops and soils. With the rise of herbicide resistant weeds, however, cover crops are also …
 
Ag Literacy is defined as having a basic knowledge of how food and fiber systems work. However, many consumers today do not understand these systems and processes. Brendan Black, host of the Talk Ag to Me podcast, is working to change that, serving as a translator between agriculture specialists and the general public. This episode, as part of a po…
 
“Sustainable Agriculture in the U.S. vs. the EU: A Comparative Look at Different Approaches to Similar Objectives” with Dr. Scott Hutchins Government officials in both the United States and the European Union agree that sustainable agriculture is an important and necessary topic today. However, there are many and differing opinions on how to secure…
 
“Drawn to natural history: Enhancing field courses with drawing and field journal instruction” with Bethann Garramon Merkle. Field drawing has long been used as a method of documentation and observation in the natural sciences. However, more technologically advanced documentation tools, perceived dichotomies between artistic and scientific capabili…
 
Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a system by which pests are controlled using informed decision-making techniques such as pest monitoring and pest thresholds, instead of regular, scheduled pesticide use. Holistic IPM takes things to the next level beyond that, incorporating economic, social, and other advanced systems into the decision-making…
 
“Risk assessment of pollen-mediated gene flow from Ga1-m field corn to dent-sterile Ga1-s popcorn” with Dr. Amit Jhala and Dr. Ethann Barnes. Popcorn accounts for a small portion of the corn grown in the United States. It is therefore important to protect popcorn varieties from cross-pollination with other field corn varieties. Up until now, geneti…
 
“Registration of ‘Butta 12’, A Two-Row Malting Barley Adapted to the California Central Valley with Proven Floor-Malting Success and Craft Brewer Acceptance” with Lynn Gallagher and Ron Silberstein California is a prime location for craft brewers and microbreweries. However, fungi and virus disease susceptibility have made it difficult for many bar…
 
Locusts are one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the world, causing problems since ancient times all the way up until today. This episode, we talk with Ellen Weatherford of the Just the Zoo of Us podcast to learn more about these frightening insects for a special Halloween special. Tune in to learn: How Ellen would rate locusts on effecti…
 
The World Food Prize is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to food and food security around the world. The brainchild of Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, it was founded in 1986 and is the foremost international award for those in these fields. Dr. Rattan Lal is the 2020 World Food Prize Laureate for his continent-spanning wo…
 
Dr. Norman Borlaug was an American agronomist who specialized in wheat breeding. Known as the Father of the Green Revolution, he helped other hunger fighters save hundreds of thousands of lives in Mexico, India, Pakistan, and other countries throughout his long and varied career. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and founded the World Food Prize…
 
“Tapping into Wild Carrot Diversity for New Sources of Abiotic Stress Tolerance to Strengthen Carrot Pre-Breeding in Bangladesh and Pakistan” with Dr. Philipp Simon. Carrots are a diverse crop that grows worldwide. Packed with nutrients and flavor, many of its wild relatives also carry important traits such as resistance to abiotic stresses like dr…
 
“Research and Funding in the Time of COVID‐19” with Dr. Gary Pierzynski. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption worldwide, with research projects, schools, grocery stores, and more all impacted. Dr. Gary Pierzynski, the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at…
 
“A Review of Turfgrass Sports Field Variability and Its Implications on Athlete-Surface Interactions” with Dr. Chase Straw. Sports scientists study how athletes perform during exercise and how that affects the body. Turfgrass scientists study how to improve and maintain the health of turfgrass. But what happens when you combine the two? Dr. Chase S…
 
“A preliminary investigation of wild pig (Sus scrofa ) impacts in water quality” with Dr. John Brooks. Wild pigs are an invasive species that impact at least thirty-five states in the United States with a population of approximately six million and growing. With few natural predators and a high reproduction rate, they are a highly mobile species th…
 
It’s our second birthday today, which means we’re releasing a second blooper reel. We are now also offering continuing education unit (CEU) quizzes for all past, full-length episodes. If you are a certified crop advisor or certified professional soil scientist, you can purchase them on an individual basis or as part of your online classroom subscri…
 
“Impacts of Oyster Aquaculture on Subaqueous Soils and Infauna” with Chelsea Duball. Oysters are praised as ecosystem engineers, not only for their filter feeding, which draws particulate matter and nutrients out of the water, but also for their ability to create natural structures in the wild that can protect against storm surges on the coasts. Bu…
 
“Evaluation of Water Retention Products to Conserve Urban Water Resources in Home Lawns” with Vikram Baliga. Water retention products are designed to help turfgrasses conserve water. But as water conservation becomes an issue of ever greater importance, it is important not only to know which of these products to use, but also how best to use them w…
 
“Crop Production on Heavily Disturbed Soils following Crude Oil Remediation” with Dr. Tom DeSutter and Sam Croat. When an oil spill occurs on land, there are myriad ways to approach cleanup, from adding oxidizers or nutrients to speed natural processes, burning off surface oil, replacing contaminated top soil with top soil from other regions, or ev…
 
“Crude Oil Effects on Redox Status of Salt Marsh Soil in Louisiana” with Dr. John White. Also featuring Dr. John Pardue. Ten years ago, on April 20th, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded, killing eleven crewmen and releasing about five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding environment over the next 87 days. Dr…
 
“Top 10 Plants: Increasing Awareness of Plants” with Dr. Mary Hockenberry Meyer and Dr. Natalie Bumgarner. Plant blindness is the inability to “see” the plants around us, that is, to recognize them as separate and important pieces of our surroundings beyond their roles as general background or landscape. But for those who do “see” plants and their …
 
“Analysis of Children's Drawings to Gain Insight into Plant Blindness” with Dr. Christina Hargiss and Dr. Paula Comeau Plant blindness is a phenomenon that, despite its name, has nothing to do with whether or not plants can see. It is actually defined as our inability to see or value the plants around us. Interdisciplinary researchers Drs. Christin…
 
“Analysis of Children's Drawings to Gain Insight into Plant Blindness” with Dr. Christina Hargiss and Dr. Paula Comeau Plant blindness is a phenomenon that, despite its name, has nothing to do with whether or not plants can see. It is actually defined as our inability to see or value the plants around us. Interdisciplinary researchers Drs. Christin…
 
Episode Title: Organic Certifications with Harriet Behar Show notes: Getting organically certified is one of the first and most important steps to transitioning to organic farming, but how does one actually go about it? Harriet Behar has worked in organic systems for over thirty years and is an expert on the regulations, processes, and requirements…
 
The organic industry generates 50 billion dollar a year. But if you’re looking at transitioning into organic farming, where do you begin? Anders Gurda and Paul Dietmann work with organic farmers every day. Join us with host Dr. Erin Silva for part two of our four part series on transitioning to organic farming, where we discuss how to improve your …
 
Tom Frantzen has been in organic agriculture for thirty years with his wife Irene in Iowa. Join us and host Dr. Erin Silva for part three of our four part series on transitioning to organic farming, where we’ll discuss his introduction and transition to organic farming, lessons he’s learned, the values and disciplines he treasures, and the changes …
 
In North America, standards for soil health and fertility in organic systems are regulated at the federal level. But for those transitioning to organic farming, it can be difficult to know how to meet those standards without access to the same toolkit they used while practicing conventional farming. Join us and moderator Chris Boomsma in this last …
 
“Genome-Wide Association Studies in Apple Reveal Loci for Aroma Volatiles, Sugar Composition, and Harvest Date” with Dr. Zoë Migicovsky, Dr. Carsten Pedersen Apple breeding can take a long time. Because each seed is the progeny of two different trees and each tree takes five to six years to produce its first fruits, breeders can be waiting years, i…
 
“Winter Phosphorus Release from Cover Crops and Linkages with Runoff Chemistry” with Dr. Merrin Macrae Cover crops can offer a variety of ecosystem services, including reducing soil erosion. However, in colder climates, where cover crops can freeze and die over the winter, there is the possibility that the Phosphorus within cover crops can then lea…
 
“Plant Species and Hydrology as Controls on Constructed Wetland Methane Fluxes” with Karla Jarecke and Dr. Terry Loecke Wetlands are important ecosystems that provide many important services, such as assisting in water quality, flood control, erosion protection, carbon removal and storage, and biodiversity. Hydrology is the study of water, specific…
 
“What We Talk about When We Talk about Soil Health” with Dr. Ryan Stewart. Soil health is an important topic for today’s scientists, but how do we quantify it, and when we talk about “healthy soils,” what do we even mean? Dr. Ryan Stewart and his team set out to answer just that. Doing a meta-analysis on dozens of studies listed in The Soil Health …
 
“Celebrating the 350th Anniversary of Phosphorus Discovery: A Conundrum of Deficiency and Excess” with Drs. Andrew Sharpley, Helen Jarvie, Don Flaten, and Peter Kleinman. 350 years ago, German alchemist Hennig Brandt accidentally discovered phosphorus during his quest to find the philosopher’s stone. As it turns out, phosphorus can’t turn base meta…
 
“Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Saturated Riparian Buffers: Are We Trading a Water Quality Problem for an Air Quality Problem?” with Dr. Morgan Davis and Dr. Tyler Groh. Riparian buffers are areas of perennial vegetation planted around stream banks and other riparian zones to protect against soil erosion and nutrient leaching. However, tile drainage …
 
“Effects of Biomass Removal Levels on Soil Carbon and Nutrient Reserves in Conifer-Dominated, Coarse-Textured Sites in Northern Ontario: 20-Year Results” with Dr. Dave Morris Forest harvesting varies greatly from annual harvests of agricultural crops, with extended times between harvests, the amount of harvested material removed, and the degree of …
 
Happy birthday to us! In honor of our first birthday, we’ve put together a blooper reel. And to keep the good times rolling, we’ve developed a short, five minute survey to help us improve. Please take the time to fill it out, and enjoy some of our favorite flubs! Thank you to all of our amazing guests from year one! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N…
 
“A Low-Cost Automated System for High-Throughput Phenotyping of Single Oat Seeds” with James Clohessy. A Rube Goldberg machine is a machine intentionally designed to complete a simple task using overly complicated steps. James Clohessy and his team are doing just the opposite. Using machine learning, web cameras, open software, and photogrammetry t…
 
“Vadose Zone Gas Migration and Surface Effluxes after a Controlled Natural Gas Release into an Unconfined Shallow Aquifer” with Olenka Forde. Olenka Forde thinks a lot about a world that we’ll never see – the world existing right underneath our feet. Olenka’s research is related to hydraulic fracturing and she is interested in how we can safely ext…
 
“Color, Transfer, and Application Parameters of Turfgrass Colorants” with Garland (Drew) Pinnix. In kindergarten, we’re taught that colors can be one of seven colors of the rainbow. Later, we learn fun colors like purple mountain majesty and get excited when our friend brings a 50-pack of crayons. In reality though, color is much more complex, a mi…
 
“Toward Better Understanding of Terrestrial Processes through Long-Term Hydrological Observatories” with Dr. Heye Bogena. Hydrology, put plainly, is the study of water: how it moves, where it goes, and what’s inside it. Hydrologists gather as much information as they can about water in order to understand current water trends and to predict potenti…
 
Precision Agriculture Basics with Dr. David Clay Dr. David Clay, along with the precision agriculture community, are working like codebreakers to crack the secret to more efficient, more environmentally friendly farming. The key? Understanding variability. Across any given farm field, there are many discrepancies in how given points of the field re…
 
“Hand Planter for the Developing World: Factor Testing and Refinement” with Dr. Bill Raun Across Central America, South America, and Africa, there are thousands of acres of land with slopes and landscapes that will never be suitable for mechanized agriculture. For hundreds of years, they have been planted by hand, a practice that continues today. T…
 
“Review: Sediment-Related Controls on the Health of the Great Barrier Reef” with Dr. Peter Hairsine. In 2016, a catastrophic bleaching event killed off around 30% of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral. The reef has been in a precarious spot for decades, but climate change and human-caused pollution have amplified the threats to its existence. Dr. Peter…
 
“Pyramiding of Alleles from Multiple Sources Increases the Resistance of Soybean to Highly Virulent Soybean Cyst Nematode Isolates” with Dr. Brian Diers. One of a farmer’s greatest enemies is a nemesis that they never even see. A nematode sounds like a ghastly swamp monster – in reality, it’s a microscopic worm that does some big time damage to soy…
 
“Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) Mercury Unaffected by Wildland Fires in Northern Minnesota” with Dr. Randy Kolka and Trent Wickman. We often hear of the dangers of mercury to pregnant women and children that require them to restrict fish consumption. For good reason – even at low concentrations, mercury can do serious damage to neural networks and…
 
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