The Power of Healthy Soil: for a Happy World Earth Day
Updated: Sep 27
As we celebrate World Earth Day, it is essential that we recognize the importance of healthy soil and take action to protect it for future generations. Soil is the foundation of life on Earth. It is the source of the nutrients that nourish our crops and ultimately, our bodies. However, the world's soil is facing a grave threat due to soil degradation, which is caused by a combination of factors such as erosion, pollution, and unsustainable land management practices.
In this blog post, we explore the significance of healthy soil and its relation with plant health. We also discuss three key steps that can be taken to improve soil health, including the use of SoilBeat's innovative platform. Join us in this mission to promote regenerative agriculture and protect our planet's precious resources.
Photo by nareekarn
The importance of healthy soil
Do you know that the condition of the soil affects 95% of the food we produce? Sadly, topsoil is disappearing 10 to 40 times quicker than it’s being created. Claims that there are just 60 harvests left may be exaggerated, but soil degradation is a problem that we can influence. Soil degradation has become an increasingly urgent issue, with an estimated one-third of the world's soil already degraded due to various factors, including erosion, pollution, and unsustainable land management practices. This poses a significant threat to global food security and ecosystem health.
In fact, one of our most effective tools for combating climate change is soil. Floods are prevented by healthy soils, and a healthy soil retains water much better. The atmosphere, worldwide plants, and forests all together can’t compare to how much carbon is stored in soils! However, we are losing enough fertile soil per minute to fill 30 football fields. This is disastrous, especially given that soil building can take hundreds of years by nature.
The relation between plant and soil health
Healthy soil is essential for growing nutritious crops and sustaining life on Earth. As plant health is intricately linked to soil health, when soil is degraded, plants struggle to obtain the nutrients, water, and support they need to grow and thrive. This can lead to stunted growth, decreased yields, and even crop failure. Additionally, unhealthy soil can also lead to pest and disease issues, as weakened plants are more susceptible to these threats.
Healthy plants also contribute to healthy soil. When plants photosynthesize, they produce organic matter that is returned to the soil as plant residues. This can improve soil structure and create pore spaces within the soil allowing for water infiltration and air movement. This is critical for the growth of soil microorganisms. Moreover, healthy plants help to improve soil nutrient cycling and pest management.
How to improve soil health
Improving soil health is a crucial aspect of ecosystem management. Here are 3 key steps that can be taken to improve soil health:
Start with regenerative agricultural practices: Implement soil conservation practices, such as reduced tillage and planting cover crops. These will help you to reduce soil erosion, improve water infiltration, and enhance soil microbial activity.
Optimize nutrient management: Optimize nutrient management practices by using appropriate fertilizers and soil amendments that promote balanced plant nutrition and reduce nutrient loss through leaching and runoff.
Learn what works on your field: Start with a data-driven approach to learn what works best on your field. Collect and analyze data, and make the best informed decisions. Optimize your soil health by monitoring progress and improve continuously.
Our responsibility at World Earth Day
As we celebrate World Earth Day, it is crucial that we all commit to protecting our planet and its precious natural resources, including our soil, for future generations. Whether you are a farmer, agronomist, or simply a concerned citizen, there are many ways that you can get involved and make a difference, such as the steps mentioned above. Besides, as a farmer or agronomist, you can use SoilBeat to boost your soil health.
Are you a farmer or agronomist and you want to improve your soil in a well-informed manner? Use SoilBeat to boost your soil health.
SoilBeat to boost your soil health
SoilBeat's innovative platform provides real-time insights and customized dashboards to help growers and agronomists optimize their soil health and improve crop yields.
By providing growers and agronomists with the tools they need to make informed decisions about soil management, SoilBeat is helping to promote regenerative agricultural practices that support healthy soils and ecosystems.
Do you want to see how we do this? Create a demo account.
Do you want to read more about healthy soil? Here are some inspiring sources:
FAO: healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production
UN: Soils: where food begins. Yearly at 5th of December, they organize the World Soil Day
EIT Food Blog: Why is soil health important for food production?
Client Earth: Why soil matters