Natural farming will increase the frequency and number of essential soil fungi

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are useful soil fungi that provide important services to the health of plants and soils by increasing the nutrient cycle and improving soil structure and fertility. Recently, AMF has received a lot of attention as its benefits for crop production have become known and farmers want to know what types of practices can increase AMF incidence in their soils. A recent study published in the Emirates Journal of Food & Agriculture found that organic farming can increase the amount and variety of AMF in soils under a range of crops such as pomegranates, grapes, mangoes, lemons and limes. The researchers compared the amount of AMF and the types of AMF in organic and conventional soils for a range of cultures in sandy soils under dry conditions. They found that organic soil not only had higher levels of AMF, but also more species, with 21 species in organic soil versus 14 in conventional. This study shows that organic farming can increase soil biodiversity and the sustainability of crop production in resource-constrained soils.

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