Since 2002, December 5th marks World Soil Day, a day aimed at bringing awareness to the importance of healthy soil. This year, we believe it is even more crucial to acknowledge World Soil Day as an estimated one third of agriculture soils are degraded(1), affecting food production, security and the climate.
There is no disputing soil is the foundation of agriculture and our food systems, but we often overlook its importance in our daily lives. Soils are comprised of minerals, organic matter, air, water and living organisms. This wealth of biodiversity, just at our feet, play a key role in regulating, storing and filtering water. Soils also play a pivotal role in storing carbon which is directly related to mitigating climate change. Simply put, soil is a living ecosystem that helps us sustain the wellbeing of animals, people, and the planet. Without healthy soil, we are not able to feed the world and protect the planet.
With half a century of experience in soil analysis, we are concerned about the current state of our soils due to soil degradation and the direct risk it plays in food production and security. That is why this World Soil Day we are addressing our concerns. Today is not only for scientists, but everyone. And if we strive for a healthy future, it is time we stop treating soil as just dirt and take a second to look down and acknowledge its vitalness. Knowing this, we are firm believers that knowledge grows and that is why we are working diligently with experts and scientists to create a strategy and act on the importance of soil health.
A key example of our experience with soil health can be found at Yara Analytical Services in Pocklington, United Kingdom. At Yara Analytical Services, scientists run soil health assessments containing comprehensive soil health indicators that cover the chemical, physical and biological dimensions of soil health. These indicators help to provide key insights and advice to farmers and other businesses allowing them to increase soil quality.
We are also working to develop tailor programs to deploy more sustainable solutions such as the Agoro Carbon Alliance. Created for farmers to earn additional revenue for positive climate action, the Agoro Carbon Alliance offers farmers expertise and support to successfully sequester carbon in the soil and reduce emissions in the field, two crucial elements to increase soil health and mitigate climate change.
We are proud of these initiatives, in addition to our products and solutions and their aim at creating more sustainable practices to preserve or improve soil health, not only this World Soil Day, but every day.
Read more about Yara’s position on soil health.
1) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2015): Status of the World’s Soil Resources, Technical Summary Available at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5126e.pdf