soil in CA almond orchard, CV-Salts

CSUMB Professor Wins Award for Innovative Soil Research

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network

A professor at Cal State Monterey Bay was recently awarded a New Innovator in Food & Agriculture Research Award to continue work on understanding the microbial makeup of healthy Soils. JP Dundore-Arias says his research is studying the effects of cropping systems on plant growth by understanding what promotes beneficial soil biology.

Dundore-Arias… “It’s more like probiotics, the same way that when you take antibiotics, your doctor will tell you to finish your antibiotics. But the antibiotics are not going to be as specific,” said JP Dundore-Arias.

“They’re also going to get rid of a bunch of other good microbes that are in your gut. So you can try to replenish those healthy microbial communities in your gut. So the same way, that is what we’re trying to see, what is present in the soils where the disease happens or takes place very, very badly,” he said.

“And growers are really struggling to make something out of that or to have a successful production in those fields. Versus other soils where the disease doesn’t happen. So if we can compare the communities in both soils, can we find something in the good soils that maybe we could bring to the more depleted soils and trying to help or facilitate the establishment of just good microbial communities again,” said Dundore-Arias.

The $450,000 award is provided by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research.