Soil Microbes: Their Powerful Influence in Agroecosytems
Research Scientist/Molecular Biologist
Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research
New Mexico State University
Dr. Johnson begins his presentation with the startling fact that, worldwide, 75 billion tons of fertile soil are lost each year. Soil is also being lost from desertification, soil salinization, pollution through chemical application and runoff, and the urban sprawl of new subdivisions. In his research with the New Mexico State University Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research, Dr. Johnson is focusing on the role of microbes (such as fungi and bacteria) in the sustainability of healthy soils. As background, he explains the concept of the “soil food web.” With his wife, Dr. Johnson has developed a composting bioreactor which produces a high quality, nutrient rich, fungal dominated compost. Materials such as this compost can increase crop yields while maintaining healthy soil.
Recorded: September 29, 2016