Although not yet on the endangered list, the scientific facts on soil health are irrefutable. Globally, 33% of land is moderately to highly degraded due to erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification, and chemical pollution of soils.
Each year, approximately 0.3% of agricultural production capacity is lost. While this may seem like a small number for a single year, multiply that 0.3% loss annually for the rest of this century. That adds up to a third of our agricultural production, which means that feeding the future population because a real problem for our grandchildren.
Soils aren’t a renewable resource. Consider that it takes over 1,000 years to make 1 cm of soil. In our lifetime, the soil we have is all there is.
Managing soil health can help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.
Challenge for Farmers
In a growing season like we experienced in 2019, farmers faced their fair share of challenges. With flooding, low commodity prices, and trade wars, plenty of issues were ready to keep farmers awake at night. Cash flow is on the front burner, shifting the focus to profits and away from concerns about soil health.
Building soil heath and organic matter levels between 3% and 6% actually improves productivity. Beyond the physical benefits – reducing erosion, nutrient runoff, surface crusting from excessive rainfall – a high organic matter level will:
- Increase soil’s capacity to retain nutrients and supply them over time.
- Help soil resist pH change.
- Speed up decomposition of soil minerals over time, allowing nutrients in the minerals to be more available for plant uptake.
Organic Matter Drives Biology
Healthy soils provide biodiversity for the planet. The number of living organisms in a tablespoon of soil outnumbers the people on earth. Plants require biology in the soil before they can do their job. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi must be living in soils to break down vital nutrients and convert them into forms that plants can use.
Organic matter provides this diversity in soil biology, allowing for resilience and resistance in plants and, ultimately, improving yields.
The biological benefits, provided by soil organic matter, will:
- Provide food for organisms living in soil.
- Increase soil microbial biodiversity and activity, aiding suppression of pests and diseases.
- Allow soil microorganisms to create more pore space, reducing runoff and increasing infiltration.
The result of the delivery of nutrients at the right time is crops that deliver higher yields and increased ROI. Repeatedly, through multiple studies and across geographies, SymTRX has been proven to increase yields and profits for farmers. Would you like to see the trial results? Sign up and we’ll deliver them to your inbox.