Why Modern Day Farming is Killing The Soil. Bad Chemistry, Convenience, Lack of Awareness.
Updated: Aug 5, 2022
Increasingly heavy farm equipment is crushing fertile soils, SOIL COMPACTION IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY The status quo can no longer be sustained. It's time for each and everyone of us to start taking responsibility growing or at least understand our own food.
A Review on the Effect of Soil Compaction and its Management for Sustainable Crop Production Conclusions
Soil compaction is unfavorable for sustainable agriculture. It decreases the volume of a given soil mass by reducing the air-filled pore space. Soil compaction changes soil structure by increasing bulk density and penetration resistance and decreasing the total porosity of the soil. Use of heavy machinery for tillage operations, planting, pre- and post-emergence spraying of crop protection chemicals, and harvesting crops can cause soil compaction. These field operations with high gross weight vehicles/machinery eventually can damage soil structure and deteriorate soil environment that are critical for sustainable crop production, leading to reduced crop growth and yield. Soil compaction alters plant root architecture and anchorage. As a result, reductions in plant nutrient uptake and growth are observed, resulting in a reduction in biomass and crop yield. Soil compaction resulting from the multiple passes of heavy machinery, with various combinations of wheel load and ground pressure, supports the following theoretical predictions: (a) high ground pressure significantly increases soil BD of topsoil but has less effect at greater depth and (b), conversely, increases in vehicle/wheel load, at a given ground pressure causes significant increases in compaction at deeper depths. LOSS OF ORGANIC MATTER AND NOT BEING REPLENISHED (DUST BOWL) The levels of organic matter in the soil hit bottom in the late 1980s, right before new Congressional farm bills went into effect, but things are turning around.
“Our study brought together hydrology, biology, geochemistry, engineering and mathematics in a way not previously done,” said Papanicolaou. “We were able to show that yes, soils are improving, but the methods of farming from 1935-1987 have taken their toll.”
The realization that the organic matter in the soil, and in some sense, its overall soil health has improved to almost half its level in the 1930s was an exciting find, one that is an example of the program that made the study possible. Soil Chemical and Microbiological Properties Are Changed by Long-Term Chemical Fertilizers That Limit Ecosystem Functioning
In our study, a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the long-term fertilization on the diversity and composition of rhizosphere and root endosphere microbiota has the potential to help guide and inform efforts to improve soil health in the face of increasing chemical fertilizer use. The results of this study reveal that there are different soil chemical and microbiological properties between natural and cultivated ecosystems. We found that long-term fertilization caused excessive NH4+ and AP residues and soil acidification, reduced fungal diversity, and altered the bacterial community structure. Our work not only provides evidence that microbiota composition is affected by fertilization but also shows that unfavorable and or pathogenic microbiota may increase. Moreover, the rhizosphere and root endosphere of naturally grown trees hosted a higher fungal diversity and more beneficial bacterial taxa, and its associated microbiota had specific roles in soil nutrient cycling and plant growth. We suggest that the development of an organic cultivation mode of reducing the application of chemical fertilizer and reasonable inputs of organic fertilizers according to the soil fertility level are likely to improve economic benefits while protecting the environment.
KOrganics has answers to all these woes, we can work towards the paradigm shift today or the status quo will continue. If you can make a difference please help support KOrganics today, either by purchasing our regenerative amendments or booking a consultation. Anything you do with me will support my growth. I am doing all I can and could do a lot more with more. ~Kenneth Scherer Owner of KOrganics