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Without doubt the elephant in the room when discussing the environmental costs of food production is nitrogen. The so called Green Revolution was triggered by the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form for agricultural production. The Harber-Bosch process, by which synthetic nitrogen is produced, made nitrogen cheap and readily...

The $9 billion citrus industry if Florida was bought to its knees by a tiny little bacteria that by 2010 had destroyed most of the state's orange groves. The bacteria, referred to as HLB, causes citrus greening which prevents the fruit from ripening, causes fruit to drop prematurely and can eventually kill the host tree.

In 2020 Ecdysis concluded their research on regenerative almond farming in California's Central Valley. The Central Valley has more than 3.5 million hectares of irrigated fields and is where 90% of the world's almonds are grown along with many other products. In pre-colonial times it was an area of amazing natural beauty and abundance with grass...

Soil health, plant health, and in many ways planet health come down to having healthy soil biology. The diversity of life in ours soils is astounding making up about a quarter of the planet's biodiversity. The story of our agriculture is in many ways a story of war on this diversity. The story of our future agriculture has to be...

Continuing with Magical Carbon we now look at the magic that happens when then carbon gets into the soil. Before the carbon it's just sand or dirt, compacted rock crumbs with inaccessible nutrients trapped inside its lifeless form. It repels rain water which just runs off and is lost.

One of the exciting things about the world of soil microbiology is that we still know so little and we are learning all the time. For many years we thought that carbon built up in soils from the breaking down of decomposing surface matter. The problem with this form of soil carbon sequestration is that it is not stable: the...

For humans arguably the single most important process on the planet is photosynthesis. Without it humans could not survive. Photosynthesis is the source of all the world's energy. Yes that petrol you pour into the tank of your car and that coal that drives our power turbines it all came from photosynthesis millions of years ago. And of course the...