Recorded Seminars & Lectures 2017-2018

Glyphosate and Soil Microbial Communities: Fake News vs. Facts

Dr. Timothy Paulitz, USDA-ARS
Wheat Health, Genetics and Quality Research Unit
Pullman, WA

February 28, 2018

Glyphosate (Roundup) is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and is a key component of no-till systems throughout the world, especially in the Pacific Northwest. It is relatively safe, tightly bound to soil particles, is broken down by microbes, and does not have a long residual in the soil. However, there is concern about non-target effects, especially on beneficial bacteria and fungi in the soil.

With a next-generation sequencing approach, Paulitz and colleagues addressed the question: how does glyphosate affect soil microbes in the Pacific Northwest? Bacterial and fungal communities were found to be strongly affected by field location and cropping system, but glyphosate application had only a very minor role in shaping microbial community composition. More bacterial and fungal taxa were stimulated by glyphosate use than were reduced, a response attributed to the presence of dying roots, providing a greenbridge effect.

Dr. Paulitz is a plant pathologist who has spent his career on biological control and and cultural management of soilborne diseases, especially diseases of wheat.

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The Rodale Center and its Influence on Organic Farming Research

Jeff Moyer, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute

February 23, 2018

Jeff Moyer is a world renowned authority on organic agriculture. His expertise includes organic crop production systems with a focus on weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design. Jeff is perhaps most well known for conceptualizing and popularizing the No Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture. In 2011, he wrote Organic No-Till Farming, a publication that has become a resource for farmers throughout the world.

Jeff brings a farmer’s perspective and approach to issues in organic agriculture. He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board, a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic, the Chairman of the Board of Director of The Seed Farm, part of the Green America Non-GMO Working Group, a Project Member of The Noble Foundation’s Soil Renaissance project, and a Board Member of PA Farm Link.

In September 2015, Jeff was appointed as Executive Director of Rodale Institute after spending the last four decades at the Institute, helping countless farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic methods.

Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 by organic pioneer J.I. Rodale to study the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people. It is committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about organic food and farming.

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Archives

CROP 199: Issues in Sustainable Agriculture Winter 2013

Topic: Plastics in Agriculture. View all lectures »