Entries by Portia Phohlo

Soil food web series: Nematodes, the good and the bad

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A lot more attention has focused on plant parasitic nematodes rather than the beneficial free living nematodes in the soil. Intensive research needs to be conducted so as to better understand the role played by free living nematodes especially in the mineralisation of soil nutrients.

Playing smart politics with your soil

Reading Time: 2 minutes

If farmers could challenge themselves and stop applying excessive nutrients in the form of fertiliser, especially N, and rather focus on building soil carbon, that would force the soil organisms to start working (mineralise organic matter) for their own nutrients.

Soil Biology,the engineers in the soil

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Microorganisms like fungi and bacteria use the carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients in organic matter as food in order to obtain energy to survive. Microscopic soil animals like protozoa, amoebae, nematodes, and mites feed on the organic matter, fungi, bacteria, and each other for the same purpose.

The hype around soil health

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The challenge for farmers is sieving through all these techniques at their disposal and finding that one technique which they understand and identify with – one which is simple and informative enough for them that they would be able to use the results and implement directed management practices on their farm.