Can compost affect how many crops are grown? Idowu Atoloye is a PDRF studying soil plants and climate, and his research focuses on organic wheats and how compost can enhance yield in the long term.
Declining yield and grain quality was a major concern among scientists and farmers, and it was all due to the low moisture content of the soil. Could compost help this problem and increase yield? Sixteen years later, the experiments showed that the plots with compost have had a consistently higher yield, and Idowu is researching to find out why. As he’s researched, he discovered that the amount of phosphorous in the soil affects the yield. With low amounts of phosphorous, the compost had the most effect, while there was little change in soil with medium to high amounts of phosphorous.
Idowu didn’t always want to come to Utah State. He didn’t even know about Utah State when he was first looking for grad schools. His research brought him here, not the other way around. But now that he’s here, he doesn’t want to leave!
When he talks, it is clear that Idowu has a lot of knowledge and passion for his research. He wants to make a positive impact on the world through the work that he does. He is also aware of the impacts and costs of his research. Because of the high price of compost, it is important to Idowu that he knows that his experiment works.
When he finishes school, Idowu wants to go into academics. He loves research, but wants to teach long-term. He also wants to have the opportunity to explore the effect of his research in tropical soil.
Outside of his research, Idowu dabbles in beekeeping. When asked about why he would be drawn to beekeeping, he said, “I was looking for a side business that I wouldn’t have to invest a lot of money in and that wouldn’t contribute negatively to the environment.” It was also a way to get honey, an expensive commodity, of his own. Eventually, what started out as a side business turned into a hobby, and Idowu fell in love with beekeeping. He has been beekeeping for the past seven years.
Written by: Abby Stewart | Office of Research and Graduate Studies | email@example.com