Newswise — Nov. 16, 2017  –  Did you know soil scientists are making your Thanksgiving dinner more sustainable? The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) November 15 Soils Matter blog explains research to make cranberries, poultry litter, and sweet potatoes better for the environment.

Blog author Laura Christianson is an assistant professor at University of Illinois-Urbana Department of Crop Sciences. “This Thanksgiving is a good time to be thankful for all these scientists who are changing the world,” she says. “Their research – and its application – ensures that we can continue to feed the global population with nutritious crops. All this while looking out for our environment, too!”

  • Cranberries: Research teams are testing methods to reduce the amount of phosphorus that runs off from the bogs.
  • Poultry litter: This natural waste product is chock-full of nutrients that can help grow crops. However, the nutrients can easily leach out of the litter and pollute waterways. Scientists' work to develop ways to capture excess nutrients continues.
  • Sweet potatoes: Jamaican researchers are investigating how to better predict sweet potato yields. This research will help this region achieve food and nutrition security. Other scientists are closely studying the genetics of yams. The goal is to improve the genetic diversity of and breeding efforts for this important starchy tuber.

To read the entire blog post, visit

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The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.