Public Release: 

Soil research around the world topic of symposium

American Society of Agronomy

October 12, 2015--When considering best practices on their farmers, growers often look to results from their own land, and perhaps other local growers. Dave Weindorf, a professor at Texas Tech University, suggest they look beyond local, and even national borders.

"Too often, farmers or researchers focus exclusively on challenges confronting them in their own small part of the world," says Weindorf. "To be sure, effective strategies have been developed by such for optimizing soil resources using available technology and practices in their locality. However, much can be learned from exploration of soil issues beyond one's home national borders."

To increase the sharing of global research, Veronica Acosta-Martinez, USDA, has organized a symposium, "Soil and Biology and Biochemistry Research Around the World".

The symposium will be part of a special International Year of Soils (IYS) celebration planned at the Synergy in Science ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. The Soil Science Society of America has been celebrating IYS in 2015, along with the UN-FAO and other worldwide groups. The symposium will be held Monday, November 16, 2015. The Synergy in Science meeting is sponsored jointly by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

"We cannot identify solutions for global food security and healthy soils without efforts that represent as many countries as possible," says Acosta-Martinez. "Thus, policies, views and challenges for sustaining agriculture while maintaining soil biodiversity and quality across the planet will be addressed. We are very excited to learn from all our colleagues, recognized scientists from different parts of the world featuring soil biology and biochemistry research from Europe, Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand and others."

"Without doubt, soils provide the fundamental basis for food production," says Rolf Sommer, a research scientist with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Kenya. "The continued loss of soils and soil fertility is jeopardizing the sustainability of agriculture in many parts of the world, and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in particular. The lessons our research shows underpins the crucial importance of adequate and continuous inputs of organic matter to the soil to maintain its fertility and productivity."

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For more information about the Synergy in Science 2015 meeting, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Nov. 1, 2015, is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/newsroom for registration information. For information about the "Soil and Biology and Biochemistry Research Around the World" symposium, visit https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2015am/webprogram/Session14268.html.

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.

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