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Farming And Soil
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Farming And Soil


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  • 1. The Earth’s Crust Farming and Soil
  • 2.
    • Farmers add:
    • fertilizers
    • manure
    • compost
    • and insecticides and herbicides
    • to their crops to
    • help increase
    • their yields.
  • 3.
    • As a result, we can now grow more food than at any other time in the history of the earth.
  • 4.
    • As a result, we can now grow more food than at any other time in the history of the earth.
    • However, this increase in food production does not come without a price.
  • 5.
    • The smells associated with the spreading of natural fertilizer (manure) can be very unpleasant for nearby towns, or the farm’s neighbours, and have even led to law suits.
  • 6.
    • The fertilizers and insecticides used on farms can find their way into rivers and streams and have a negative impact on fish and water ecosystems.
  • 7. For example, these algal blooms were created when fertilizers from farms ran into rivers and lakes.
  • 8.
    • Once in the water, the fertilizers help the water plants grow.
  • 9.
    • Algal blooms (when algae grow and die quickly) are bad for an ecosystem because when the dead algae decompose they use up all the available oxygen – and fish and other animals in the water die.
  • 10. An algal bloom as seen from space.
  • 11.
    • Farming can also lead to soil erosion.
  • 12.
    • Cutting and harvesting crops can slow the development of new soil and can steal vitamins and minerals from the soil.
  • 13.
    • When crops are cut, the soil is exposed to erosion by wind and rain.
  • 14.
    • Topsoil can dry out and be blown away or carried away during rainstorms.
  • 15.
    • Millions of tonnes of valuable top soil is lost every year because of erosion.
  • 16.
    • Erosion combined with a drought can even lead to desertification (the formation of deserts)
  • 17.
    • Such a thing almost happened during “the Dustbowl” of the 1920’s.
  • 18.
    • Farmers planted the same crop over and over and did not replace any of the nutrients.
  • 19.
    • The dry, nutrient poor soil just blew away.
  • 20. This animation shows how soil and sand from Africa (the Sahara Desert) can blow across the Atlantic Ocean and land in North America.