We are here to update you on the latest research about BDM and recycling options PE mulch as well as help you to answer any questions you might have. In each episode, we’ll dive into the latest research, trends, news, and insights on why mulch matters and how we can improve plastic mulch end-of-life options. We'll also branch out and discuss other plastics as well as talk to researchers, experts, and practitioners in the field who will share their insights and experiences on how to use mulch effectively in different settings.
Down to the ground mulch talk with Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue
Join us for an enlightening episode as Nataliya hosts Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue, an assistant professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Washington State University. Deirdre's research centers on the impact of agricultural practices, such as cropping, tillage, rotation, and mulching, on soil health and the vital soil organisms that drive various soil functions. In this conversation, Deirdre provides insights into her unique journey from a previous career as a ballet dancer to becoming a soil scientist. She discusses the role of mulch in agriculture and explores the challenges and potential benefits of biodegradable mulch compared to conventional plastic mulch. The discussion delves into the long-term consequences of plastic mulch residues on the soil ecosystem and efforts to mitigate plastic pollution in soils. Deirdre also touches upon the fascinating world of soil microbes, their significance, and the ongoing research in understanding their roles in soil health. Tune in to gain valuable insights into sustainable agriculture, the impact of mulch on soil, and the intricate world beneath our feet.
Sustainable Horticulture: Exploring Biodegradable Mulch with Dr. Carol Miles
In this podcast episode, Dr. Carol Miles, a seasoned vegetable extension specialist at Washington State University, shares her wealth of knowledge and insights on the world of sustainable horticulture, particularly focusing on biodegradable mulch. With nearly three decades of experience in the field, Dr. Miles discusses her journey into horticulture and the significance of vegetable crops in human nutrition, highlighting their often-overlooked role in agriculture. She delves into the distinctions between bio-based and biodegradable mulches, dispelling common myths and emphasizing the critical importance of understanding the polymer structure in determining a mulch's biodegradability. Dr. Miles also offers valuable advice to commercial growers interested in transitioning from traditional plastic mulches to biodegradable alternatives, touching upon the adjustments needed for laying equipment and the importance of crop rotation planning to mitigate potential challenges. Furthermore, she shares her passion for dry beans, a versatile and nutritious crop, stressing the importance of plant-based proteins and the positive impact they can have on human health. Lastly, Dr. Miles underlines the pressing issue of plastic pollution, emphasizing the urgent need for society to address and combat this global problem.
Project Origins: Exploring Plastic Mulching's Evolution with Directors Lisa DeVetter and Markus Flury
In today's podcast episode, we are joined by two special guests, Lisa DeVetter, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University, and Markus Flury, Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at WSU. As key leaders of a national project titled "Improving End-of-Life Management of Plastic Mulches in Strawberry Systems", they share their insights and goals for the project. Lisa discusses her interest in soil biodegradable mulches and the sustainability concerns surrounding plastic mulches, emphasizing the need for data-driven solutions to optimize production efficiencies and environmental conditions. Markus, a soil scientist, highlights his background in soil remediation and the transition from studying biodegradable plastics to micro- and nanoplastics. Together, they lead a multidisciplinary team aiming to evaluate the impacts of various mulch technologies on horticultural, soil, sociocultural, and economic variables. Lisa and Markus express their hope to advance science and provide sustainable solutions, fostering informed policies and practices for growers. They emphasize the importance of training the next generation of scientists and collaborating across disciplines to address the challenges posed by plastic mulches. The discussion also touches on the historical use of mulches, the benefits of plastic mulches in agriculture, and the environmental impact and challenges associated with conventional polyethylene mulches. Ultimately, the project seeks to support the transition to more sustainable end-of-life outcomes for plastic mulches in strawberry systems and potentially other horticultural systems globally.
Podcast episodes and transcripts are available at https://tinyurl.com/47hrdrmr
Introducing Mulch Matters: Our Podcast Journey Begins
Dive into the world of agriculture and mulch with our Mulch Matters podcast. Discover the benefits of mulching, from moisture retention to temperature control and weed suppression. Learn about the role of organic materials in improving soil health and how plastic mulch impacts the environment. Join the conversation on sustainable agriculture and plastic waste reduction. Whether you're a researcher, farmer, or simply curious about agriculture, this podcast is for you. Explore the fascinating world of mulch and its impact on our planet.