Biosolarization Utilizes Ag Waste and Sun’s Heat to Control Pests

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, are testing “biosolarization,” a process that combines the sun’s heat with soil amendments made from agricultural wastes to manage weeds and other soil-borne pests. Adding organic, waste-based amendments like grape and tomato skins or ground nut hulls to the soil before tarping promotes growth of beneficial bacteria and can shorten the time required for solarization. The research team is testing biosolarization on different crops and at different scales, over the long term, to determine whether it is effective, predictable, and economical as a means of pest control and a way to improve soil health.