Every year on 5 December the staff at NACC NRM plant our feet firmly on the ground and stop to celebrate World Soil Day.
World Soil Day is an initiative of the UN General Assembly – and promoted through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – which aims to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources.
The theme for 2019 was ‘Stop soil erosion, Save our future’! – which is exactly what NACC NRM’s current project Growing Great Ground aims to do.
Growing Great Ground will raise awareness of the importance of sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being, plus provide the opportunity for landholders in the region to get involved, and apply for financial incentives to help address soil health issues.
And in the spirit of World Soil Day NACC NRM’s Sustainable Agriculture Program would like to share some important information about soil.
What is Soil erosion and what are the causes?
Soil erosion is the removal of the most fertile top layer of soil from the profile and generally results in soil degradation. There are a multitude of factors that can contribute to this including; wind erosion, water erosion and tillage.
Soil degradation can also be caused by soil compaction, low organic matter, loss of soil structure, poor internal drainage, salinisation and soil acidity. All of these factors can contribute to accelerating the soil erosion process. Different soil types can be more susceptible or resistant to erosion, based on their physical characteristics. But, all soils can be at risk from soil erosion.
So how do we stop, prevent or even reverse erosion?
The key thing is to identify what is causing the soil degradation, and then look at the options available to address this. Soils in the Northern Agricultural Region are at risk from a number of issues associated with soil erosion, but luckily enough there are a number of solutions to address all of these.
Managing soil acidification, reducing the risk of soil and nutrient loss from wind and water erosion, increasing soil organic carbon and improving the management of on-farm native vegetation and biodiversity are just four of the ways that we can manage our soils and help to #StopSoilErosion.
As with most things, there is no silver bullet, different soil types will respond differently, and particular options that may suit one farm business will not necessarily suit another.
NACC NRM’s Geraldton based Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator Annabelle Garratt added that
healthy soils are not only integral to our global food security they are also essential to our human health.
“By addressing the increasing challenges in soil management, increasing the profile of healthy soil and encouraging everyone to proactively engage in improving soil health we can be a part of stopping soil erosion.”
Ms Garratt added that when it comes down to it, healthy soils underpin our whole sustainable agriculture program.
For more information, please contact our NACC NRM Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitators: Lizzie King (E) [email protected] (P) 0447 361335 or Annabelle Garratt (E) [email protected] (P) 0448 986 879
NACC NRM’s Growing Great Ground project is supported by the Australians Government’s Regional Landcare Partnerships initiative of the National Landcare Program.