Cluster offers workshop about soil health
2009-10-12

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Strategic Cluster 4 (Technologies for Sustainable Crop Industries in Semi-arid Regions) recently presented a workshop about soil health on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. According to Prof. Wijnand Swart, Director of the Cluster, this topic currently enjoys high priority within the cluster. The workshop was presented to create awareness amongst all interested parties in agriculture about the important role that soil micro-organisms play in crop industries. Research in the cluster follows a “total system approach” by analysing the biodiversity of specific agronomic systems with the aim to develop so-called bio-indicators for the general health of agro-ecosystems. Dr Jill Clapperton from the University of Leithbridge in Canada and the University of Montana in the USA presented four papers during the workshop. Dr Clapperton is a scientist who has gained a lot of international prominence in the field of soil ecology and environmental health. Qualitative and quantitative responses of bio-diversity in time and space on agricultural practices, such as, amongst others, tilling as opposed to non-tilling, manuring, mulching, irrigation and the application of fertilisers, were some of the topics that were discussed during the workshop. Here are, from the left: Dr Forbes Walker, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, USA; Dr Neal Eash, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, USA; Prof. Swart; Mr Richard Fowler, Conservation Agriculture Capacitator, Pietermaritzburg; and Dr Clapperton.
Photo: Lacea Loader

FACULTY CONTACT

T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Postgraduate:
Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Undergraduate:
Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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