EP58 Fungi in Drought

EP58 Fungi in Drought

In recent years, mycorrhizal fungi have become a hot topic, especially when talking about soil health.

You may be wondering how fungi can improve and foster soil health. Well, mycorrhizal fungi are vast networks of nutrient exchange between plants and other microscopic critters you can find in the soil. Fortunately, the management practices for maintaining this conduit of nutrient exchange tend to be the same ones we’d use in good pasture management.

Can this vast network under our feet help out calf-cow producers in a dry year? Dr. Monika Gorzelak of Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada joins us in this episode to help us understand how mycorrhizal fungi can be good for the farm, especially during a drought.


  • 2:32 – Monica tells us about her background and why she studies mycorrhizal fungi.
  • 3:47 – What are mycorrhizal fungi?
  • 5:11 – Why can’t we just call it soil fungi?
  • 6:45 – What are the benefits of mycorrhizal fungi?
  • 7:46 – Can mycorrhizal fungi outlast soil bacteria in a drought?
  • 9:56 – How can cow-calf producers help mycorrhizal fungi bounce back after a drought?
  • 11:54 – Can mycorrhizal fungi help with water infiltration and water exchange?
  • 12:58 – Monica shares stories from the drought of 2021.
  • 15:18 – How do mycorrhizal fungi bounce back when the plants it supports die?
  • 18:40 – Monica provides final advice to producers who, in the future, will face drought.

Want to learn more?

Listen to the following episodes to learn more about soil health and maximizing soil function:

Our Farmers Blog is also a great source for stories of producers in Alberta who are going the extra mile with their management practices for the land, food and their communities.