Rehabilitating bare areas with ponding

I am frequently told that the reason very few landowners do soil erosion control or try to rehabilitate bare, degraded areas is because of the costs involved. Soil erosion control can certainly be costly but there are some methods that can be implemented at incredibly low cost and that are effective. Ponding, or hollows, are…

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Control soil erosion with brush packing, mulching, and creating a micro-climate

with brush packing, mulching, and creating a micro-climate One of the best ways in which to rehabilitate bare, soil eroded areas is to apply brush-packing, or mulching. Brush-packing is done by covering the exposed soil surface with organic plant material such as branches, plant cuttings, leafy material, crop residues, straw, and reeds. This treatment on…

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Carbon sequestration in the soil

Carbon and sequestration have become fashionable environmental “buzzwords”, they are repeated in television programs about forests and fires, one can find them in any nature or agricultural publication, and they even lurk in the social media and on You Tube. So let us examine carbon sequestration, expose it, and find out what it is all…

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Crop health is key to sustainable agriculture

Eighty percent of human survival relies on plants. As the human population grows, and environmental degradation intensifies, the pressure on providing healthy, nutritious food (amongst other plant-based products) to the world is mounting. Yet, plant production faces challenges as plants are stressed by biological and/or non-biological factors, which hampers production. Scientists are working tirelessly to…

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Partnering with soil microorganisms to improve soil fertility

Soil quality and productivity is dependent on many different environmental conditions such as pH, temperature, oxygen, moisture, and nutrient availability. All these factors must be conducive not only for plant growth, but also for soil microbial communities to thrive. Soils are home to billions of bacterial cells, many of which are found in the rhizosphere which…

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Conservation Agriculture

Conventional “arable” agriculture is normally based on soil tillage as the main operation. The most widely known tool for this operation is the plough, which has become a symbol of agriculture. Soil tillage has in the past been associated with increased fertility, which originated from the mineralization of soil nutrients because of soil tillage. This…

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The threat of invasive Tamarix species to riparian ecosystems in South Africa

Tamarix species (common name: Tamarisk), also known as ‘salt cedars’, are native to the Euro-Asian region and some parts of Africa. It is one of the most prolific terrestrial plants on Earth and has invaded all continents where humans live. Its rapid spread is facilitated by several factors including, among others, its facultative phreatophytic and…

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Technology in a bottle: the story of C4L tech

Think of what matters more to you than anything else in the world. It is likely to be someone, not something. People matter more than anything. The story that I want to tell you today is about the future of humans, but more importantly the future of the little one you now hold dear. Your…

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Use of satellite data in Agriculture

Satellites are termed an ‘all-seeing eye in the sky’. They collect data from the Earth for different applications. The principle of satellite data collection is that different objects have distinct reflectance properties, and the reflected energy is captured by satellite sensors to produce images. Three terms are commonly used to describe satellite image resolution: spatial,…

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