Monday, March 2, 2015

Soil, The Root of Mankind

In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout to educate the public about the importance of soil. March’s theme is “Soils Support Agriculture.”
Here are a few facts about soils and agriculture:
  1. Soils support agriculture by serving as the foundation of where we grow our food.
  2. Virtually everything in our diets either directly or indirectly came from the soil.
  3. The nutritious calcium found in broccoli is not only good for humans, but it was necessary for the broccoli plant to grow, too. Plants use calcium to help with cell division, and for getting other nutrients from the soil.
  4. Some plants, like alfalfa, not only grow in the soil, but add nutrients back to the soil.
As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA is developing a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. March’s Soils Support Agriculture video can be viewed at The American Society of Agronomy co-sponsored the video. Educational materials can be viewed at by clicking on the March tab.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at Additional soils information is on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

Soil and its qualities or lack thereof have become a hot farmer topic in most crop producing areas.  No-till is still being adopted but no quicker than cover crops planted between row crops.

Nutrient density and seed quality has slowly come to the mainstream at the same time.  Some soils produce quality that is nearly double the quality of crops grown in soils that are not managed intensely.

Making it all pay and meeting market demand is the trick.  There is always a trick, isn't there?

Food for thought on another cold February day.  This winter weather are making many wonder what this year has in store for us.

Ed Winkle

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