Home
Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info
Topsoil

Vanishing Topsoil Threatens Sustainability of Human Life on Earth

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: topsoil, health news, Natural News

Most Viewed Articles
http://www.naturalnews.com/023451_soil_topsoil_life.html
Delicious
diaspora
Print
Email
Share
(NaturalNews) Earth's topsoil is vanishing at such a rapid rate that scientists worry about the future of human food production.

"Globally, it's clear we are eroding soils at a rate much faster than they can form," said John Reganold, a soils scientist from Washington State University. "It's hard to get people to pay much attention to this because, frankly, most of us take soil for granted."

The Earth is covered with an average of only three feet of topsoil, the layer of dirt that provides the nutrients for most of the planet's land vegetation, and is critical for producing food from agriculture. Healthy topsoil is a home to billions of beneficial microorganisms per handful, in addition to nutrients, fungi and worms that are critical to healthy plant life. But it forms very slowly, at a rate of only an inch or two per several hundred years. And around the world, topsoil is vanishing much faster than it forms.

"The estimate is that we are now losing about 1 percent of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture," said David Montgomery, a geologist at the University of Washington and the author of the book "Dirt."

The National Academy of Sciences estimates that U.S. cropland is eroding at 10 times the rate that it forms, and the United Nations has warned that soil degradation is a global crisis.

Pollution, changing weather patterns and paving over cropland for development are all significant contributors to topsoil loss. But according to Reganold, the major culprit is modern agriculture practices.

According to fifth-generation grain farmer John Aeschliman, tilling farmland between plantings is an unnecessary and destructive practice that leaves the soil vulnerable to washing away when the rain comes. Aeschliman advocates and practices "no-till" farming, which involves planting the seeds of his most recent crop amidst the stubble of previous years'.

"This soil is full of worms, bacteria and all sorts of life," Aeschliman said of his own field. "And it stays put."

"That stuff over there," he said, gesturing to a neighbor's field, "is just powder, brown dust. It's dead. There's no worms, no life in it."
Join the Health Ranger's FREE email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time. | Learn more...
comments powered by Disqus

The War on Independent Media Has Begun

A coordinated censorship attack is being waged against the entire independent media by Google, YouTube and Facebook. After we were banned by Google for nearly a week, now Facebook is deliberately blocking the sharing of our stories to further censor our important reporting for human freedom and medical choice. Soon, the only way we will be able to reach you is via email, and Google is sometimes blocking our email delivery to gmail users.

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our email announcement list (but don't use gmail). Your privacy is protected and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you don't join our email list, you may never see our valuable content again via Facebook, Google or YouTube. CENSORSHIP has now reached EXTREME levels across the 'net. The truth is being suffocated. Subscribe now if you want to escape the delusional bubble of false reality being pushed by Google and Facebook.

Once you click subscribe, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free subscription.