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Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 12:20pm
Graduate student, SCS
Soil health, or soil quality, is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. Soil quality measures encompass physical, biological and chemical indicators and these have been shown to have an impact on crop production. My research is focused in Bihar, a predominantly agrarian state, with over 50% of all rural households employed in agriculture. While Bihar has made strides in agricultural growth over the past couple of years, agricultural productivity of its two main crops, rice and wheat, are well below the national average. In this presentation, I will discuss the objectives of my thesis which include evaluating the impacts of different cropping systems and crop management techniques on soil health.
Kavya is a second year Ph.D. student in the field of Soil and Crop Sciences. Her primary research interests are studying soil health – particularly its effects on food security. For the fieldwork component of her PhD, she is working with India-based agricultural universities like the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University in Bihar to advance India’s understanding of soil health. Prior to Cornell, Kavya received a joint Master’s degree in Soil Science and Agroecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she examined the effect of cover crop management on mineralizable nitrogen. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Environmental Biology. Moreover, she believes the detailed study of soil health will help give more focused direction to overall food policy and food security.