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World Soil Day: 15 Reasons To Be Truly Grateful To Soil

This Thanksgiving Season, our team takes a few minutes to pause and reflect on why we are grateful for soils, and specifically why healthy soils are so crucial to our future - whether or not you are in the agriculture and turfgrass industries.

Ayushi Raina
World Soil Day 2021
World Soil Day 2021

5th of December every year is celebrated as World Soil Day. It is a day to commemorate the soil that nourished, clothed, and empowered us. This year's World Soil Day theme is "Halt soil salinization, improve soil production," with the aim of minimizing soil salinity. 

World Soil Day (WSD) is observed annually on December 5th to promote awareness about the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for long-term management of soil resources. As a result, the 5th of December was chosen as the official day to commemorate World Soil Day because it is H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's ceremonial birthday and he was the one who formally sanctioned the event. 

This Thanksgiving, we should take few minutes to pause and think on why we are grateful for soil, and precisely why healthy soils are so important to our future - whether or not you work in agriculture or turfgrass industries. 

Why Soil Matters?

 Below we have mentioned few points that tell us the importance of Soil;

  • Soil is the bedrock of our food security. Farmers would be unable to offer us with feed, fiber, food, and fuel if our soils were not healthy.

  • Healthy soils function as a foundation for plants, much like a home's foundation, by supporting plant roots and keeping plants upright for growth.

  • Soil serveas a pantry for plants, storing and cycling critical nutrients and minerals required for plant growth. 

  • Plants rely on soils to hold water. According to the USDA, "every 1% increase in organic matter results in up to 25,000 gallons of accessible soil water per acre." That's a lot of water! 

  • Soils keep plants aerated by giving oxygen to microbes, insects, and plant roots.

  • Beneficial soil microbes exist in soil; these organisms are nature's unseen helpers. They develop synergistic relationships with plants, among other tasks, to protect them from stress and provide them with nutrients. "One teaspoon of good soil has 100 million to one billion unique bacteria alone" according to the USDA.

  • Many other organisms, such as insects, live in soil and lay and hatch their eggs there.

  • Soil removes dust, chemicals, and other impurities from surface water. This is why subterranean water is one of the purest water sources. The Catskill Watershed provides clean water to New York City at a cost of $1-to-1.5 billion, much less than the $6-to-8 billion one-time cost of constructing a water filtration plant, through natural processes such as soil absorption, chemical filtration, and nutrient cycle."

  • Healthy soils aid in the protection of the planet from climate change. Soil removes nearly 25%of the world's fossil fuel emissions each year. 

  • Healthy soils provide farmers with better crop yields and protect plants from stress.

  • When it comes to human health, soil microbes are responsible for practically all of the antibiotics we need to combat infection.

  • Healthy soils protects the land from eroding

  • Soil is a finite natural resource. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), forming a centimeter of soil might take hundreds to thousands of years. However, erosion can cause a single centimeter of soil to be lost in a single year.

  • Agriculture and food sectors account for 11%of total U.S. employment, with 16 million full- and part-time workers working on our soils every day. 

  • Archaeologists have discovered that many complex civilizations, such as the Mayans and the Harappans, perished as a result of poor soil management.

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