Beneath the Earth, the ‘Black Box’ of Soil Holds a Key to Crop Growth (Southeast AG Net)

Beneath the Earth, the ‘Black Box’ of Soil Holds a Key to Crop Growth

University of Florida scientist Sarah Strauss seeks to help untangle the web of intrigue surrounding soil microbes to improve agricultural production in Florida and globally.

“There are microbial activities going on that we don’t exactly understand. It’s known as the ‘black box’ in soil,” said Strauss, an assistant professor of soil and water sciences at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, Florida. “One thing that we’re now realizing is that microbes have the potential to play a really large role in crop production – whether it’s helping combat soil-borne diseases that are a really big problem in agriculture or whether it’s actually increasing plant growth.”

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