Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

We inspire and partner with our community to protect the natural resources and agricultural future of our District.

Scientists Hope to Cultivate an Immune System for Crops

The world’s crops face a vast army of enemies, from fungi to bacteria to parasitic animals. Farmers have deployed pesticides to protect their plants, but diseases continue to ruin a sizable portion of our food supply.

Some scientists are now investigating another potential defense, one already lurking beneath our feet. The complex microbial world in the soil may protect plants much like our immune system protects our bodies.

Scientists have known about so-called “suppressive soils” for decades. In 1931, a Canadian scientist named A.W. Henry discovered the spores of the common root rot, a fungus that strikes wheat crops, in a range of soil samples. But try as he might, he could almost never get the spores to grow.

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Source:  Carl Zimmer, The New York Times, June 16, 2016

Quick Analysis Finds Effect of Climate Change in French Floods

In this era of global warming, when there is extreme weather like the recent heavy rains that led to flooding in Paris and other parts of France and Germany, the question inevitably comes up: Did climate change play a role?

Not too long ago, the immediate response from most climate scientists would be that while it is generally accepted that global warming will lead to more rain because warmer air can hold more moisture, it is difficult to attribute any one event to climate change. A more detailed answer, perhaps with a definitive conclusion, would come months or years later in a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Source:  Henry Fountain, The New York Times, June 10, 2016


56-Foot-Tall Aluminum Honeycomb Structure Responds to the Buzzing of Bees Within London’s Kew Gardens


Forty-four tons of aluminum was just transported and installed at London’s Kew Gardens, a beehive-inspired structure produced by the artist Wolfgang Buttress in partnership with designer and engineer Tristan Simmonds. “The Hive” was originally built as a centerpiece for the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 where it won the gold award for architecture and landscape. The installation both aesthetically and symbolically represents its namesake, aiming to demonstrate to visitors the importance of protecting the honeybee.

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Source:  Kate Sierzputowski, This Is Colossal, June 16, 2016