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Healthy Soil

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Woods End Laboratories News

After 44 years in storage, an archival soil springs to life on the 2nd day

April 27th, 2015
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How long can a dry soil be stored and microbes remain viable? Many persons who have stored soil samples dating back decades have asked us this question. We recently had a chance to test the “dead soil” hypothesis. Staffer Bob Burger uncovered his old archive of US Geologic Survey soil samples, dating from 1971. One sample of […]

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150 years later, are our crop nutrient response models still working?

November 6th, 2014
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Virtually all modern crop response studies trace their lineage way back to Liebig and Mitscherlich models. Liebig gave us the most limiting nutrient concept, often illustrated by staves of a barrel – considered a huge breakthrough at the time. Unfortunately, Liebig also insisted growers ignore any contributions from soil organic matter, conveniently helping spawn a century of over-reliance […]

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German Soil & Compost Groups Turn Against Bioplastics

March 6th, 2014
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A press release (02/28) put out by German Council of Humus & Soil Producers (VHE) shows new opposition to biodegradable plastic bags at a time that couldn’t be more inconvenient. On the eve of Germany’s scheduled nationwide roll-out of food-waste biobins, VHE questions the true biodegradability of “bio-bags”, stating that the current 15 year-old standard […]

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Soil Health Tool Launches at Woods End and Other Labs

January 16th, 2014
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Years of R&D and 14,000 trial tests have led to the launch of the Soil Health Tool, a new soil test offered by at least 3 labs across the USA, including Woods End Labs (Mt Vernon ME), Brookside Labs (OH) and Ward Labs (NE). The Soil Health Tool is “the next step” for labs already […]

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Compost riskier for hygiene than manure – at current Gov’t rules?

November 25th, 2013
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The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposes new food safety rules  that could seriously affect organic growers who use manure and compost to feed plants. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) commissioned Dr. Will Brinton to examine manure and compost studies before responding to FDA.  Brinton felt that the 270-day setback proposed by FDA (before […]

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