𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲:
Widespread mechanization and adoption of chemical fertilizers and pesticides revolutionized agriculture. Apart from this, intensive farming led to a hidden underground disaster, with unprecedent negative effects on soil health and overall quality. One of the most troubling concerns relies on the long-term viability of natural resources, which coupled with climate change effects and increased droughts and flood events, that have been a constant in recent years, has led to soil impoverishment.
For so, it is crucial to prepare our soils and crops to better withstand the effects of such events. Soil management it’s about answering to the needs of the ecosystem. Therefore, when times turn bad, sustainable soil management can promote healthy soils and when times are great, these practices continue to provide several benefits.
The Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management defined by FAO, define Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) as: “Soil management is sustainable if the supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services provided by soil are maintained or enhanced without significantly impairing either the soil functions that enable those services or biodiversity. The balance between the supporting and provisioning services for plant production and the regulating services the soil provides for water quality and availability and for atmospheric greenhouse gas composition is a particular concern”.
Sustainable soil and crop management is about working to create favourable conditions for crop growth, i.e., optimizing the chemical, biological and physical qualities of the soil in a manner. This optimization should provide the best conditions for plant nutrition and development, since a sustainably managed soil has the ability to grow food, fiber, or energy crops in a way that avoids adverse effects on the soil or the environment in general. Some of the best soil management practices are to reduce/no-tillage, use cover crops, promote crop rotations, and add organic matter.
Thus, restoring soil quality and fertility is one of humanity’s best decisions for making progress on three of today’s great challenges: feeding everyone, resisting climate change, and conserving biodiversity.
In this fifth webinar of our 3rd cycle, “Healthy, living and resilient soils”, we talked about the importance of good practices for soil management and how can this influence soil health and highlight the most recent technological advances and the challenges still to be overcome in this research area.