ND Ag Microbiome Project

About 90% of North Dakota’s land is dedicated to agriculture, making it a top producer of wheat, dry beans, canola, flaxseed, honey and other agricultural products. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate soil physicochemical and biological properties of North Dakota agroecosystems, resulting in a rich database of edaphic information. However, in-depth reports on plant- and soil microbial communities are largely limited. We aim to fill this important knowledge gap by assessing soil and plant microbiomes across North Dakota. In Summer 2020, we collected root, rhizosphere and soil samples from 201 agricultural fields at three time points. Because of collaborators and extension specialists like Dr. Abbey Wick,  Lindsey Homelvig, Greg Benz, Shelby Hewsen Anitha Chirumamilla and MANY OTHERS, we were able to find fields in 50 out of 53 counties of North Dakota. Our goal is to generate a comprehensive database of microbiomes and ecosystem functions that can be used by farmers, extension specialists, policymakers and researchers. 

Map of North Dakota with field sites in different counties. We sampled these sites 3 times.

One of our teams demonstrating the sampling protocol to a collaborating Producer, Paul Overby. Thank you Mr. Overby for filiming this!

Processing the root, soil, and plant biomass samples

Soil surveying across the state can take its toll on the vehicles

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