NC State Department of Soil

I’m a really big NC State fan and I was there last week and a friend asked what classes I was taking and I mentioned I was taking a soil science class. She said she knew a bunch of people that were in a soil department at NC State. So, I decided to do a little bit of research. I thought it was really interesting that the original program at State started in 1877. It initially was only men and still til today it’s 70% men. Alot of what the soil department does is to help people realize how important soil actually is and without it we’d all die. I just thought I’d share this little bit of information with everyone, especially if they’re interested in grad school. Anyone interested should go to this website http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/.

But back to soil. I saw a short article on people wanting to bring back DDT to control mosquitoes. Sure it may kill mosquitoes but we all obviously know it kills birds, fish and other organisms. But now we’re seeing the harmful long term effects on soil. DDT can store itself in soil and can harm the growth of alfafa and other legumes. Legumes are known for replenishing nitrogen in soils that can help other plants and crops grow in certain areas. Legumes are helpful for farmers that rotate their crops because the legumes replenish the nitrogen without using fertilizers. But with large amounts of DDT storing itself in the soil, this process is being halted. The problem with not using nitrogen replenishing plants like legumes, it means farmers and growers have to use nitrogen rich fertilizers that are running off into rivers and lakes, contaminating them. Not only are animals being contaminated with the “fertilized water” but some is running off into well. My neighbor is on a well and I dont want extra nitrogen in my water.

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One Response to NC State Department of Soil

  1. emilyhartman says:

    I remember coming across the article the other week or so, and I felt the same way you do. I don’t think most people realize how important nitrogen fixing bacteria are to our health, without them our soils lose even more nutrients to plants. And your right, this extra nitrogen is going into the meat that people eat and the water they consume. I don’t know how large of an amount of nitrogen one needs to consume for it have harmful affects, but surely over time there would be serious consequences.

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