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Cattle and Soil Health

Cattle and Soil Health

Soil health is an underappreciated, but critical element in a thriving agroecosystem. Soil microbial health helps sustain ecosystem services such as climate regulation, soil fertility, and food production.

Scientists at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) have found drastic changes in the bacterial and fungal makeup of soil near manure from cattle that received antibiotics. The scientists analyzed soil samples from 11 dairy farms across the United States and found that the amount of antibiotic-resistant genes was 200 times greater in soil near manure piles than other soil.

This project was supported by the Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI).

Read more at Virginia Tech.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Plant health, production, and products
Agriculture systems and technology
Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health
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