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Improving Soil health and Food Safety in Organic Specialty Crop Systems by Customized Management of Soil Amendments

Marsh, Lurline
University of Maryland - Eastern Shore
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The major goal of this project is to evaluate the effects of customized poultry litter products and their soil application on soil microbial communities, including bacterial fecal pathogens and their survival, persistence, and transfer to fresh produce, and on soil health of high phosphorus soils in the Delmarva region.The objectives are to: (1) determine appropriate manure application placement and rates for organic farms growing selected leafy and fruiting crops, (2) compare temporal changes in pathogen levels and associated bacterial communities in different manure sources used as soil amendments during organic fresh produce production, (3) provide summer camp on soil health and healthy food for high school scholars, and (4) provide outreach workshops and demonstrations to stakeholders on practices to manage soils and reduce the risk of foodborne pathogen contamination.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Chemical Contaminants
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication