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International Year of Soils: March 2015

Soils support agriculture

By Diego Flammini,

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils.

The year-long ode to soil will focus on understanding its importance for food and environmental security.

Some specific objectives throughout the year include:

  • Raising full awareness among civilians and decision makers about the importance of soil for human life
  • Promoting investments in soil protection
  • Advocating for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection at global, national and regional levels

Every month will have a specific theme relating to soil’s importance. January focused on how soils sustain life whereas February looked at how soil supports urban life.

The theme for the month of March is “Soils Support Agriculture”.

As he did in January and February, Jim Toomey from the Soil Science Society of America appears in a short video. In March’s version he talks about how soils are similar to humans in some regards and how soils impact everything farmers grow and consumers eat.

“We all know that our bodies need calcium for healthy bones and teeth,” said Toomey in the video. “Plants use calcium for cell division and for getting other nutrients for the soil.”

Toomey touched on how everything consumers eat comes from soil. Watch the video as he builds a hamburger and talks about which ingredients use soil.

Be sure to check back in April when the theme is “Soils clean and capture water”.




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