You may not realize it, but tsoil is a big deal!
Whether you're a farmer or a backyard gardener soil is key for food production from the crops and vegetables grown to the grass and forage needed for livestock.
Research has shown that Canadian soil has been severely degraded in recent decades, a major aspect of soil degradation is the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the soil.
According to the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC), the country lost 3.9 million hectares of farmland between 1972 - 2011 and comes with an economic cost of $3.1 billion annually.
Farmers use various practices to sequester CO2 in the soil with the goal of making the soil healthier and more productive.
Some of those practices include the careful use of fertilizer, zero-till or minimum-till farming, crop rotations, and planting cover crops or inter-cropping.
National Soil Conservation Week is the best way to create awareness around soil health and conservation in Canada.
Senator Robert Black has recommended that the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture commission a new study on soil health, with the input of researchers, scientists, agronomists, farmers, and agricultural organizations working to provide a list of achievable recommendations to maintain and improve Canada’s soils.
The last Soil health report called "Soil at Risk: Canada’s Eroding Future" was done in the 1980s.
For 2023 the Soil Conservation Council of Canada has identified a number of priorities they will be focusing on:
- Identifying high-priority areas of research to drive appropriate actions and investment in production practices that ensure the sustainability of Canadian, soils.
- Increasing the quality, quantity, and access to soil health and conservation information available to producers and ag professionals in Canada
- Using the best available information, experience, and advice to inform decisions of public and private sector decisions on future investments in policy and program that supports soil conservation and health in Canada
- Raise awareness of the connection between soil health and conservation and the well-being of Canadians and make soil as important as air and water.