College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
AGNR Research

ENST Professor Featured for Work to Improve Soil Health

Dr. Ray Weil's research included in "Science of Soil Health" video series
Edwin Remsberg
Photo Credit: 
ENSt Professor Ray Weil poses with a tillage radish.

2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Soil health might seem like a snoozer of a subject, but as the global demand for food is expected to increase dramatically in the next few decades, soil is poised to play a critical part in feeding the world and protecting the planet.

The University of Maryland’s very own soil guru, Professor Ray Weil from the Department of Environmental Science & Technology, is featured in a video series called the “Science of Soil Health” produced by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS).

Weil and his research team were featured for their work using brassicas – a family of plants including cabbage, turnips and mustard greens – as cover crops to improve soil health. Weil is credited with “bringing brassicas back” to farms in the United States after they fell out of favor shortly following the no-till revolution of the 1970s.

Watch the video below:



One of the projects Dr. Weil has recently been working on is using cover crops to facilitate no-till spring vegetable production. Read more about it at

For more information on the International Year of Soils, click here.

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