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“Soil productivity must occupy an increasingly prominent place in the thinking of peoples and their leaders“Said the American scientist Hugh Hammond Bennett, who dedicated his entire career to showing that caring for the soil directly influences its productive capacity.
It is in his honor that every July 7 is celebrated World Soil Conservation Day. The soil is a structure of vital importance because it is a source of life, 95% of the food that humans produce and consume comes from cultivation on land.
Soil is a non-renewable resource and is constantly degrading, so we must learn to care for and respect our land.
Hugh Hammond Bennett, barely 20 years old, set out to eradicate the idea of the eternal life of the soil from society through his studies. Its mission, as highlighted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), was to demonstrate the enormous consequences of the depletion of the Earth.
Thanks to his passion and his gifts of persuasion and influence, he was able to convince everyone of this serious problem, and especially the United States Congress, which drafted and approved the Soil Conservation Act on April 27, 1935.
However, the effects of current climate change are altering the balance of the soil, leading to unprecedented degradation that, with each passing day, expands even more. We are running out of time to act.
Tips to avoid soil degradation
- Avoid burning: When organic matter burns, it is transformed into toxic gases that affect life.
- Avoid total plowing and excessive trampling of livestock:the hooves and hooves of cattle pack the soil, harden it and prevent the respiration of microorganisms.
- Plant trees and avoid deforestation: Trees fulfill a very important function in addition to the production of oxygen, since they prevent the water from dragging the nutrients, leaving the soil sterile, you can also strategically plant structural trees that bury their roots deeper to keep the soil together for a greater time frame.
- Do not throw bad water on the ground: The liquid state makes it easier for chemical elements to enter the soil quickly.
- Promote crop diversity:Monoculture is more prone to diseases and pests. Additionally, beneficial plant crop associations repel certain pests.
- Decrease until no more chemical fertilizers are applied: These deteriorate the organic life of the soil and its structure, source of nutrients for plants and our food.