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Soil Whisperer

Amy Kaleita in fieldFrom the air or highway, America’s fruited plains present a uniform vista of vast abundance. Not to Amy Kaleita. The associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University sees a “somewhat chaotic” array of micro-plots, each with unique hydrology, root depths, soil characteristics – all of them ripe opportunities for smart technology to enhance both sustainability and food production using “precision conservation.”

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Soil Biosolarization: Sustainable Weed Killer

seedlingIn this three-part activity, students in grades 5 to 7 act as agricultural engineers, learning about and testing the effectiveness of a sustainable pest-control technique that uses organic waste and sunlight rather than toxic chemicals to reduce weeds.

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