Soil: Agriculture and Food Chain Essay
Chapter 11 : Soil: The Foundation for Land Ecosystem Chapter 11 Brooke Settles Chapter 11 discusses three major practices that expose soil erosion and how they can be corrected .
The three are Over- cultivation, Overgrazing and Deforestation. These are each all major problems in creating an unsustainable society. The good thing is that each of these causes of erosion can be corrected to create a more sustainable society. First there is Overcultivation which is the practice of repeatedly cultivating and growing crops more rapidly than the soil can regenerate , then that leads to a decline in soil quality and productivity.
This is the preparation in growing crops and after the harvest of crop, the soil is left exposed to erosion. The water and wind is what causes the erosion to take place. Plowing is frequently necessary to loosen the soil to improve aeration and infiltration through it , yet all too often the effect is just the reverse. Weight of tractors causes the soil to become impacted which in effect makes the soil become impacted which makes the soil more susceptible to erosion. Overcultivation erosion can be corrected by no-till agriculture .This is a technique that permits continuous cropping , yet it minimizes soil erosion.
No – till agriculture is when the field is sprayed with herbicide to kill weeds and then planting apparatus is pulled behind a tractor to accomplish several operations at once . This method prevents the soil from becoming compacted because all the harvesting steps have been minimized to just one step. Some other strategies to minimize overcultrivation are low-till farming and uses of fertilizers.
These strategies have minimized the processes of soil erosion.Even though , money is lost and time is needed with the improving the methods used to correct overcultivation it is necessary and beneficial to farmers and consumers in the long run. Overgrazing is the phenomenon of grazing animals in greater numbers that the lend can support in the long term.
Due to the animals consuming more grass that can be produced, the ground becomes bare leaving the soil exposed to erosion. The wind and water erosion then that damages the soil and leaves the soil unprotected.To help prevent overgrazing the NRCS ( U. S.
Natural Resources Conservation services) has a program ( the Conservation Stewardship Program) which provides information and support to enable ranchers who own their lands to burn unwanted woody plants , reseed the land with perennial grass varieties that hold water and manage cattle so that herds are moved to a new location before overgrazing occurs. Theses steps should help supply enough of the area and grass to help prevent an insufficient supply for grazing.If the problem is left uncorrected , this could also pose a serious threat to our food chain. Deforestation is the process of removing trees and other vegetation covering soil and converting the forest to useful land, this often leads to erosion and loss of soil fertility. This process is causing the valuable nutrients to be washed away by erosion and leaving the soil unable to provide adequate agriculture. In order to prevent this trees need to not be cut down in order for the use of empty land.Maybe instead of using forest land business should find places where it is not needed to cut down the forest. Once again , the problem of deforestation , can also pose a threat on the food chain.
Overcultivation, overgrazing, and deforestation are the three major causes of soil erosion. But, all of these can be prevented if action is taken . Land owners if they want to be part of the solution they can try and research ways to help prevent the occurrence of soil erosion.This will benefit everyone in creating a sustainable society for our environment and to help protect the food chain. Resources: Wright, Richard T.
, & Boorse, Dorothy F. (2011). Environmental science (11th ed. ) San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc. .
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