Published on July 20, 2014
What do I need to know about soils? May–August 2014. 3° Agricultura Sustentable y Protegida¥¤ᴙᴷ Soil can be living or dead. Living soil continuously requires enough air, water and soil organic matter in order to provide a good growing environment for plants and soil organisms. By providing these, even dead soil can manage to live again. You can tell whether your soil is living or dead by the amount of farm products that can be obtained from it under average management conditions. A living soil can support consistentand sufficient production of farm products while a degraded and dead soil cannot. What causes soils ‘to die’? Generally, the productivity of soil has been decreasing in most regions. This implies that most soil is either ‘dying’ or ‘simply dead’. Thereare different causes, that contribute to the death of soils. Deforestation removes valuable species and exposes the soil to erosion. Burning of crop residues and fallows destroys soil organic matter, Frequent watering results in salinity. Bare soil on cropland encourageshigh evaporation of soil water and erosion by water and wind. ‘Living soil’is what most farmers will term as a ‘fertile soil’. Is your soil living, dying or dead? What are you doing to improve the health or fertility of your soil?