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Celebrate World Soil Day with Scholarships, Soil, and Sleeping Giants

VP of Ag Science,
Heliae® Agriculture

Dr. Cassidy Million serves as the VP of Ag Science, where she champions industry outreach, agronomy trials and product training for the company’s portfolio of microalgae solutions: PhycoTerra®. Dr. Million has served the industry in plant nutrition and soil product research and the USDA as a plant pathologist. Million earned both her master’s and doctorate in plant pathology and phytopathology from The Ohio State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in plant science from Indiana University Southeast.

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In case you missed it, World Soil Day took place on December 5, 2022. Soil is the foundation for all food production. The difference between healthy and unhealthy soil can make or break your yields. It might be time to consider investing in regenerative farming solutions to improve soil health and quality on your farm.

Here are some ways you can improve your soil quality and health to celebrate World Soil Day every day.

#1: Feed hungry microbes in your soil. 75% of beneficial microbes are dormant in farm soils due to starvation. When dormant, they aren’t able to support your soil structure, texture, and crop yields. The good news is, it’s easy to wake them up with a carbon-rich microbial food. We call this “waking up your sleeping giant”.

Feeding hungry soil microbes improves soil health and quality, which improves water holding capacity up to 10%, all to reduce abiotic stress throughout the growing season. 

#2: Optimize fertilizer inputs. Manure, mulch, compost, and other fertilizers feed your crops and hungry soil microbes. In return, the soil microbes optimize NPK availability, boost crop yield potential, and increase ROI.

#3: Try out a no-till or low-till system. No one wants to deal with post-harvest residue once a crop is harvested. While popular, tilling post-harvest residue can disrupt the microbiome. Rather than disrupt the biology in your soil, feed them. The activated soil microbes will go to work for you, reducing crop residue average dry weight by up to 36% and increasing soil temperatures by up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit, to provide a leg up for next year’s crops.

#4: Apply for the PhycoTerra¬® World Soil Day Scholarship. Celebrating World Soil Day meant looking to the future of soil and finding new ways to help soil innovations and advancements flourish. That’s why we created the World Soil Day Scholarship.

Juniors in college who are pursuing a degree in agronomy, plant science, soil science, or a related field are encouraged to apply. The one-time scholarship includes three $5,000 scholarships and a short internship at Heliae¨Agriculture in Gilbert, Arizona. Click on the link to learn more.

A celebration of soil cannot be contained to one day. Rather, soil and soil microbes deserve consistent monitoring, attention, and celebration. Start with getting a soil test to determine the types of microbes in your soil and their diversity. A trusted crop adviser can help you with this. 

Afterward, you’ll be able to strategize to make the most of your soil this year. Be sure you include PhycoTerra¬®products in your crop input strategy.