Name: Dr. Jill Clapperton
Title: Rhizosphere Ecologist
Location: Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethgridge. Alberta, Canada
Number Of Years Doing Research And Advising On No-Till: 10 Author and Co-Author of More Than 70 Research Papers And Publications
No-Tilled Crops Studied: Wheat, Barley, Canola, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Flax, Forages, Cover Crops
One of the first things I like to do when I talk to no-till farmers is to explain why my long title – rhizosphere ecologist – fits right in with what they’re trying to achieve with direct seeding or no-tilling. (The terms are generally interchangeable).
“Rhizosphere” is just a big name for the soil that surrounds and is influenced by the roots of a plant. As an ecologist, I study the relationships between organisms and their environments. I’m interested in the same things that no-tillers are interested in: learning how we can effectively manage and benefit from the long-term biological fertility of our soil.
Most of my time is spent as a scientist at the Lethbridge Research Centre, the largest of 19 centres within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, an organization that is akin to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Our Rhizosphere Ecology Research Group studies rangelands and cropping systems under low-input and organic management systems, emphasizing reduced and no-tillage.
My extensive research agenda allows me to make only about a half-dozen presentations a year at farmer meetings, such as the National No-Tillage Conference and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Direct Seed Association annual meeting. I thoroughly enjoy…