Organic crops have billions of helpers living in the soil: OEFFA conference preview

picture of soil profileThe first principle of organic farming? Healthy, biologically active soils mean healthy crops. In fact, microbes and other organisms living in the soil affect every aspect of crop production, from weed competition to pest resistance to a crop’s nutritional quality, says research by CFAES scientist Larry Phelan. He’ll share what he’s learned on such topics as how crop plants actually recruit soil microbes and how farm practices affect those microbes — and a crop’s health as a result. “Inside the Black Box: Understanding Soil Biology in Organic Farming,” Session IV, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 36th annual conference.

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