Can Soil Be as Essential as the Air We Breathe?

Did you know that the soil beneath our feet is as critical to our human survival as the air we breathe?

In this podcast, soil science expert, Professor John Havlin, joins Yara's Director of Agronomic Services, Dr. Rob Mikkelsen, to help us understand how important the thin layer of crust on earth that we call soil is.

Listen now:

In this episode, we discuss the evolution of soil fertility practices, the impact of nutrient management on crop quality, and the significance of long-term agricultural trials. We also delve into Professor Havlin's intriguing research on wine grapes and how soil health drives the growing wine industry in North Carolina.

Some Takeaways:

  • Soil science is crucial for sustainable agriculture and the future of food production.
  • Nutrient management and long-term trials play a significant role in improving farming practices.
  • The book Soil Fertility and Fertilizer has evolved over the years to address changing agricultural practices and environmental concerns.
  • There is a need for more young people to pursue careers in soil science and agriculture.
  • Teaching quantitative skills in soil science is challenging but essential for understanding the science behind soil health and fertility. The work with wine grapes in North Carolina has been the most exciting and rewarding for John Havlin.
  • Nutrient management, particularly nitrogen application, plays a crucial role in improving the quality of wine grapes.
  • Soil health and fertility are essential for successful grape growing.
  • The grape industry in North Carolina has grown significantly in the past few decades.

Dr. Havlin holds the professor and extension specialist position in Crop & Soil Sciences at North Carolina State University. He has also served as the past president of the Soil Science Society of America. Dedicated to raising awareness about soil's crucial role, Dr. Havlin's efforts have contributed to the establishment of the House of Representatives Soils Caucus and a $4 million educational exhibit at the Smithsonian, which opened in 2008. This exhibit aims to educate the museum’s six million annual visitors on how soil is fundamentally connected to human health, environmental sustainability, and planetary well-being.

To learn more check out these links:

This podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional advice or recommendations for listeners. The views expressed in this podcast by guests are not necessarily endorsed by Yara North America.

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