Q: Why should we care if soil is healthy?
Ruth: Healthy soil sustains our world’s food supply. When soil is healthy, the ecosystem within the soil has the optimum levels of structure, living organisms, nutrients and all other biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) components.
Q: How do farmers protect soil?
When crops are grown, a primary consideration as we make decisions is, will this improve — or at least maintain — the health of our soil?
Q: Is it true that our soil will be depleted in 60 years?
Ruth: There is no research that supports this claim. This was a sensationalized headline designed to elicit an emotional response. In fact, many soils are in better health than they were 60 years ago. Today, we are better equipped to scientifically study our soils and work to improve them.
Q: Why do farmers use chemicals and fertilizers?
Ruth: Chemicals and fertilizers allow farmers to improve soil health and keep soil in place. No-till farming (where soil is never disturbed) is ONLY possible with careful use of herbicides.