Soil

Soil Health

What is soil health?

Soil health is soil’s continued capacity to function as a dynamic, living ecosystem that sustains plants and microorganisms, enhances air and water quality, and supports animal and human health. 

Soil health is the foundation for profitable, productive, sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture.

Strawberries, soil and water management

June 22, 2018
UC Davis field days give industry a taste of new berries and a feel for healthy soil

The latest developments in strawberry breeding and healthy soil took center stage at two recent UC Davis Field Days, one hosted in Prunedale (near Salinas) and one held at UC Davis Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility.

In Prunedale, strawberry farmers, shippers, breeders, propagators, crop advisors and resource conservation groups gathered to get a taste of what’s developing in the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Program. Many said they liked what they tasted and saw.

Working together to manage nitrogen oxide emissions from farmland

February 08, 2018

Researchers seek solutions that benefit agriculture and the environment

Researchers from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) are working with farmers and ranchers, environmentalists, industry, and public agencies to find practical, science-based solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, including managing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from farmland. 

A Climate Change Solution Beneath Our Feet

June 02, 2017

Healthy soil could change everything

When we think of climate change solutions, what typically comes to mind is the transportation we use, the lights in our home, the buildings we power and the food we eat. Rarely do we think about the ground beneath our feet.

Kate Scow thinks a lot about the ground, or, more precisely, the soil. She’s been digging into the science of how healthy soils can not only create productive farmlands, but also store carbon in the ground, where it belongs, rather than in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Secret life of soil

March 03, 2017

Soil microbes may help fight climate change.

Kate Scow, a professor of soil science and soil microbial ecology at UC Davis, keeps plastic bags filled with soil on her desk.

Turning food waste into healthy soil

August 29, 2016

UC Davis helps study “fork-to- farm” fertilizer

A Sacramento company that turns food waste into liquid fertilizer has launched a three-year almond trial at UC Davis to test the product’s effect on crop production, nitrogen leaching, and soil health.

Working with Professor Edwin Lewis with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, California Safe Soil is also conducting ongoing trials throughout the state with several other commodities, including berries, lettuce, and tomatoes. 

Flooding Farms in the Rain to Restore Groundwater

January 28, 2016

Despite rain, California is still in a drought. Scientists are banking water as a sunny day fund.

The Central Valley sky was a never-ending expanse of gray. Not a single pixel of blue in sight. Under it, UC Davis scientists were flooding a Modesto almond orchard with half a foot of water. On purpose. In the pouring rain.

Carbon buried in the soil rises again

November 04, 2012

A research team that includes a University of California, Davis, plant scientist has identified a source of carbon emissions that could play a role in understanding past and future global change.

A research team that includes a University of California, Davis, plant scientist has identified a source of carbon emissions that could play a role in understanding past and future global change.