With HMI’s mission to educate people in regenerative agriculture for healthy land and thriving communities, you can imagine that we spend a lot of time talking about soil.
While talking about soil may not be as exciting as last night’s Superbowl, (unless you’re a Falcons Fan), we firmly believe that the topic of soil is not talked about enough. Healthy soil is an amazing thing; producing healthy, nutrient-dense foods packed vitamins and minerals.
With the help of of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), I’ve compiled some interesting facts about soil that you may not know.
- Sustainable soil management can help farmers and ranchers produce up to 58% more food – which begs the question ‘why aren’t more farmers and ranchers using sustainable soil management on their farm or ranch?’
- Today, more than 80% of arable soil in the U.S. is used for food production.
- A tablespoon of healthy soil is brimming with beneficial organisms; more than the population of the entire world.
- With soil erosion and runoff continually destroying the earth’s topsoil, some experts have estimated that the earth only has around 60 years of topsoil left. If you eat food, this should concern you.
- More than 30% of the world’s soil is classified as degraded.
- It can take up to 1,000 years to produce 2-3 centimeters of soil.
Holistic Management offers classes in regenerative agriculture techniques, including Whole Farm Land Management; which focuses on regenerating the land for better soil health, bio-diversity, productivity and profitability through the practice of Holistic Management. And be sure to check out this graphic from FAO that explains the importance of healthy soil.
Hugh Goble says
I’d like to take issue with you about point #2 above (Today, more than 80% of arable soil in the U.S. is used for food production).
According to USDA Statistics for 2015 & 2016:
2% of arable soil (2,964,720 ha/7,322,858 acres) is used for Food production,
17% (24,939,220 ha/61,599,873 acres) is used to cultivate mixed Food and Non Food crops used for both human and animal consumption, and
81% (118,455,410 ha/292,584,862 acres) used for production of crops predominately for animal feeds (overwhelmingly corn and soybeans).
Distorting facts does not help the farmers’ case anywhere in the world.
Mary Girsch-Bock says
Thanks for your comment. The point I was trying to make was that over 80% of arable soil is used in agriculture. Yes, the majority of it is used to grow crops for animal feed, but that is part of food production if the animals are ultimately used for food. I apologize that I did not make that clear.