The Importance of Testing Soil Quality
Soils play a key role in ensuring that there is enough agricultural production to feed the world’s population.
The importance of soil fertility for agriculture was one of the first realizations that hit farmers at the start of the Agricultural revolution back in the 18th century. Slowly, they realized that good quality soil is essential for high yield, and sufficient production to sustain families, villages, and entire societies.
The difference between types of soils, and variation in soil properties became apparent- soil moisture, soil texture and of course soil chemistry determined what crops can grow in particular regions, and how much yield the fields will produce.
However, something that was not very known at that time is that soils are a precious resource, which is easily exhausted. Continuous mismanagement and exploitation due to lack of knowledge, led to poor soil fertility, loss of soil and as a result,
Fertilizers were introduced in the last century, helping farmers “fix” their soils, and boost their yield. Unfortunately, the general “rules” for
Fast-forwarding to recent days, and we see that not much has changed. Soils are continuously exhausted and miss-managed, we have lost vast areas that were once suitable for agriculture, and the tendency is not slowing down.
Our society is facing one of the biggest challenges- that of ensuring there
In the last few years, soils were brought to the front line. Major international funding initiatives gave a boost to research on soil quality for agriculture. Some of the most prestigious international
In order to make a change, we have to take clear actions.
Firstly, we have to continue raising awareness. Soil testing is crucial for increasing agricultural production, and this very important message has to reach farmers around the world. Regular testing of soil quality is the only way for them to know how best to treat their
And last but not least, we have to continue developing and improving. Every new technology brings us one step closer to allowing each and every farmer to get to know their soil. The boost in agricultural production can only follow next.
Article by Mila Luleva