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  • Soil is the material found on the surface of the earth that is composed of organic and inorganic material. Soil varies due to its structure and composition. Learn about the different types of soil and soil structures in this video lesson.

  • Food production doesn't have to be a victim of climate change. New research from Michigan State University suggests that crop yields and the global food supply chain can be preserved by harnessing the critical, and often overlooked, partner in food supply -- soil.

  • Large fields, predictable rainfall and favourable temperatures have meant that farmers in Arsi Negele, a town in southeastern Ethiopia, have benefited from good crop yields. Their production of wheat and maize, two of the main food staples in Ethiopia, have also increased over time.

  • According to the United Nations, sometime around 2050, the planet’s human population will be close to ten billion, a threshold that will stress many of the world’s most important systems, especially agriculture.

  • By 2050, the world’s population is forecast to reach 9.7 billion and agricultural production will need to rise by about 60%, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

  • I think many farmers who are tilling will admit that tillage can harm soil structure,” says Dr. John Grove, a long-time soil properties researcher at the University of Kentucky. “And farmers who have soils more sensitive to soil structure damage admit this more quickly.

  • Gabe Brown, a city boy from Bismark, North Dakota bought the farm of his in-laws in 1991. The farm grew small grains, mostly spring wheat, oats, and barley, using the conventional farming practices Brown’s predecessors had followed since 1956 – tilling (plowing) the land to seed and applying synthetic fertilizers and herbicides annually.

  • Although there is uncertainty about the weather outlook later in the 2018/19 summer season with talks of a possible El Niño, the planting period started on good footing. South Africa has had well-timed rain events so far which have improved soil moisture for early planting in the eastern and central regions .

  • In 2008 and 2009, the Nevado del Huila volcano erupted in southwest Colombia. Not long after, Clarence Cocroft, a soybean, pecan, and black-eyed pea farmer from Mississippi, bought nine hectares of land 120 miles north of the volcano, a plantation near Bogota where several tons of Huila’s ash had reached. Three years later, Cocroft, who is trained in biochemistry, planted coffee trees on the farm. 

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    Inorganic nitrogen (N) dissolved in groundwater could be lost for crop production through downward and sideway movements of groundwater, resulting in lower yields and profit margins above costs. Differences in leaching between N sources can effectively be utilised to reduce the risk of N leaching.

  • Soil health is the ability of a soil to sustain, in the long term, its most important functions. A healthy soil will be able to sustain crop and livestock productivity and maintain or enhance environmental benefits. It requires a good balance of physical, chemical and biological soil properties, many of which can be tested.

  • The Republic of South Africa (SA) and the European Union (EU) engaged in a dialogue on soil information between 10 February 2018 and 23 October 2018. The dialogue was conducted within the SA-EU Strategic Partnership and supported by the SA-EU Dialogue Facility.

  • Soil scientists are researching rice's ability to cost-effectively remove pesticides from runoff water before it flows into rivers, lakes and streams. Tests showed an 85% to 97% efficiency in removing chemicals.

  • Soils support life. And without soils, many of the world’s living organisms will find it difficult to survive and thrive. Besides forests and grasslands, this includes economically important plants like rice, which feeds more than half of the world’s population.

  • Healthy soils are necessary to produce healthy food and achieve sustainable global food security. They also are a useful resource in the fight against climate change, as they absorb carbon from the air and store it. Recognizing these facts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretaryhas stated that soil health is a priority and invested in programs related to the issue.

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