HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Conventional plowing is 'skinning our agricultural fields'

Traditional plow-based agricultural methods and the need to feed a rapidly growing world population are combining to deplete the Earth's soil supply, a new study confirms.

In fact, long-established practices appear to increase soil erosion to the point that it is not offset by soil creation, said David Montgomery, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences.

No-till agriculture, in which crop stubble is mixed with the top layer of soil using a method called disking, is far more sustainable, he said.

"Soil loss through conventional agriculture is in a range of 10 to 100 times greater than the rate at which soil is created. No-till agriculture brings it into the ballpark, surprisingly close to being balanced with soil creation," he said.

Montgomery looked at data from more than 1,650 measurements published in more than 200 studies examining various aspects of farming practices, soil creation and erosion. His findings are being published this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and will be published in a print edition later in the year.

Long-term erosion rates worldwide average less than one-tenth of a millimeter per year, which is similar to the rate at which soil is produced through mechanical, chemical and biological processes that dissolve rock and mix the grains with organic matter. The research shows that erosion rates consistently exceed 1 millimeter a year less than a half-inch per decade only in steep alpine terrain, and plowed fields erode at about the same pace as the Himalayas, home to the highest mountain peaks in the world.

The paper supports arguments Montgomery put forth in a popular book, "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations," published earlier this year by the University of California Press. In the book, he linked the demise of history's major civilizations to how long it took them to deplete their soil supply.


'"/>

Contact: Vince Stricherz
vinces@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
8-Aug-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Small-scale agricultural changes may help eradicate widespread disease
2. Some forest birds can survive in agricultural countryside with limited habitat conservation
3. Tools to measure and restore connectivity in agricultural landscapes
4. Green payments are the future of agricultural support
5. Project to intensify agricultural production in Great Lakes -- Africas most impoverished region
6. Producing bio-ethanol from agricultural waste a step closer
7. Healthy fruits, vegetables highlight joint medical, agricultural research meet in Texas
8. Children at risk, says Illinois agricultural economist who helped assess the worlds ecosystem
9. Oceans more vulnerable to agricultural runoff than previously thought, study finds
10. Researchers discover direct link between agricultural runoff and massive algal blooms in the sea
11. A complex agricultural society in Uruguays La Plata basin, 4,800-4,200 years ago

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio ... findings of Neihulizumab, a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease ... hemato-oncologist Dr. Paul J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... that it had completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, ... company’s existing Japanese clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract ... (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical research strategy to discover and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... solutions in complex indoor environments, announced today that Derek Fournier has been appointed ... of Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. , “DeCurtis Corporation has been ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2020 ... ... profiling its lead glutamine antagonist, DRP-104, will be presented June 22-24 during the ... anti-cancer effects of DRP-104; and, the other profiles the potent, consistent single agent ...
(Date:6/19/2020)... ... , ... The Vitaspace project was founded by the famous Russian ... life and find a way (medicine or technology) that will help to preserve youth, ... scientists from all over the world, doctors, and all people who care. , The ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... , ... June 09, 2020 , ... ... Phase I of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funded by the ... Century: Rapid Toxin Detection in the Field”. The project’s goal was to engineer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: