Prof. Mary Ruth McDonald

Prof. Mary Ruth McDonald, Department of Plant Agriculture, spoke with the Montreal Gazette about the problem of muck soil depletion in Canada.

Muck soil is rich in organic matter, but nutrients drain from the soil the longer it is cultivated for agriculture, leading to concern that the soil will be mostly depleted in the next few decades.

McDonald, director of research at U of G’s Muck Crops Research Station in the Holland Marsh, noted that while agriculture drains black soil over time, the greatest threat to it and wetlands in general is not agriculture but urban development.

McDonald’ studies integrated crop management of vegetable crops, including plant pathology and disease management.