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Organic Agriculture: Microbial Activity and Soil Health

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Organic Agriculture: Microbial Activity and Soil Health Warren Roberts Jim Shrefler Merritt Taylor Lane Agricultural Center OSU We All Want Food that is Why Have ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Organic Agriculture: Microbial Activity and Soil Health


1
Organic Agriculture Microbial Activity and Soil
Health
  • Warren Roberts
  • Jim Shrefler
  • Merritt Taylor
  • Lane Agricultural Center
  • OSU

2
We All Want Food that is
PlentifulNutritiousSafe
3
Why Have Organic Food?
  • Public Concern about Food Safety
  • Perception that Organically Grown Foods are Safer
    More Nutritious

4
Its a Matter of Life and ?
5
Microbial Activity and Soil Health
  • Define Microbial
  • Micro-organisms
  • Define Activity
  • Growth, Reproduction, Function
  • Define Soil Health
  • Ability of a Soil to Function
  • Chemistry, Physics, Biology
  • Define Biology
  • Study of Life and Life Processes

6
Purpose of Soil Health
  • Promote Plant and Animal Systems
  • Promote Clean Water
  • Prevent Soil Erosion
  • Promote Human Health
  • Promote Life !

7
Soil Microorganisms
  • Larger Animals
  • Bacteria (Often Single Cell)
  • Fungi (Often Long Filaments or Hyphae)
  • Actinomycetes (Properties of Both)

8
Microorganisms
  • Affected by
  • Moisture
  • Temperature
  • Aeration
  • Food Supply (Organic Matter)
  • Acidity

9
Location in Soil
  • Mostly in top inch
  • Almost all in top 6 inches
  • Rhizosphere
  • Adjacent to plant roots
  • High microbial activity
  • Contains root exudates

10
Soil Animals
  • Earthworms
  • Mites
  • Nematodes
  • Protozoa
  • Beetles
  • Termites

11
Bacteria
  • Mostly Single Cell
  • Millions per Gram
  • Millions of Billions per Acre

12
Roles of Bacteria
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  • Mineralization
  • Organic Matter Decomposition
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Aeration
  • Tilth

13
Nitrogen Fixation
  • Bacteria (Rhizobium and others)
  • Symbiotic
  • Bacteria gets carbon from plants
  • Bacteria supplies Nitrogen to plants
  • Usually with Legumes

14
Mineralization
  • Conversion from Organic Substance to Molecular
    Level Minerals
  • Decay
  • Physical and Chemical

15
Organic Matter Decomposition
  • Physical changes
  • Organisms eat, crunch, rip, tear
  • Earthworms, mites, ants, etc
  • Chemical changes
  • Digestion with enzymes

16
What Controls Rate of Decay
  • Temperature
  • Moisture
  • Food Supply
  • Oxygen
  • CN Ratio

17
CN Ratio
  • Microbes Need Carbon
  • Microbes Need Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen is Often the Limiting Factor

18
CN Ratio
Sawdust 3001
Newspaper 1751
Corn Stalks 751
Leaves 601
IDEAL RATIO 301
Vegetable Scraps 251
Grass Clippings 201
Clover 201
Manure 151
Alfalfa 121
Slow
Stinky
19
Soil Stabilization
  • Soil Aggregation
  • Clumps of Particles
  • Organic Matter
  • Bacterial Residues
  • Fungal Hyphae

20
Aeration Tilth
  • High Organic Matter
  • Low Compaction
  • High Aggregation

21
Raised Bed Gardening Noble Foundation
22
Fungi
  • Hundreds of Thousands per Gram
  • Perform Functions Similar to Bacteria
  • Decomposition
  • Important in Plant Nutrition
  • Mycorrhizae (fungus root)

23
Mycorrhizae
  • Mutualism or Synergism
  • Benefits Plant and Fungus
  • Ectomycorrhizal
  • Hyphae do not penetrate root cells
  • Endomycorrhizal
  • Hyphae do enter root cells
  • Arbuscular
  • Very Common
  • 90 of plant families

24
Ectomycorrhizae
  • Ecto- (outer)
  • Hyphae form sheath around root tip
  • Promotes nutrient absorption
  • Promotes nutrient translocation

25
Endomycorrhizae
  • Endo (inner)
  • Hyphae Penetrates Cell Wall
  • Promote Nutrient Uptake and Exchange
  • Increase Surface Contact Area

26
To Your Good Health (Soil)
  • Keep pH near neutral
  • Avoid Compaction
  • Maintain Good Moisture
  • Promote Drainage
  • Good Temperature
  • Organic Matter

27
A Noble Soil
28
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29
ProBiotics
  • Cultures of Beneficial Microorganisms
  • Compost Teas
  • Inoculants
  • Organism Food
  • Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Nitrogen

30
Where We Are
  • 50 years of Chemical Research
  • What If ?
  • 50 Years of Biological Research ?

31
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