Worm compost can suppress plant disease, regulate nutrients, research finds [Cornell Chronicle 12/21/2011] – Reports on work by Allison Jack and others in Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, and also on a project led by Neil Mattson, Department of Horticulture, to begin this spring focusing on vermicompost’s organic fertilizing capability. Mattson was awarded a $203,000, three-year grant from the USDA to study how organic growers can incorporate vermicompost into their potting mixes for better nutrient management. “What a lot of these growers tell us is fertility issues are the hardest to solve organically. This is a community that is doing a lot of great things. We want to make their production systems even more profitable. We want to promote production systems that promote healthy environments,” said Mattson.
In the news
Q&A: Reports from the front line of ideas for a sustainable planet [cover story in the Winter 2012 issue of Ezra, Cornell’s quarterly magazine] – Quotes David Wolfe, professor in the Department of Horticulture and chair of the Atkinson Center Climate Change Focus Group: “It’s not just the thermometers telling us the climate is changing; the living world is already responding. As the planet warms, the range of many species is shifting northward, and in the spring plants are blooming earlier. Apples, lilacs and grapes are blooming four to eight days earlier than in the 1960s. Migrating birds and insects are also arriving sooner than expected. Those who make their living from the land will be on the front lines of confronting this challenge.”