Soil Destruction and Conservation
About the Soil Destruction and Conservation Lesson
This is a lesson about early farming practices and the condition of soil and cropland in the past and present.
• to discuss the development of soil conservation and its implications in the world today;
• to explain and discuss the issue of conservation in previous times;
• to encourage an appreciation of soil as an important natural resource.
Across the globe, weathering processes are creating new soil every day. But, while tons of new soils are created every year, it still takes hundreds, if not thousands, of years for one inch of topsoil to develop. Topsoil is the dark, organically rich layer of soil needed to grow plants and food. It is the product of a good mix of dirt particles and slowly decaying plant and animal matter.
Once we cut forests down and clear the land, the ability of that land to keep making new topsoil is drastically reduced. The trees are gone. Many animals are gone. If we build communities on the land, small plant material is gone too. If we plow the land for crops, we begin using up the topsoil that is there. If we don?t grow crops with conservation of that topsoil in mind, it will soon be depleted. It will be used up and become void of nutrients. It will suffer water and wind erosion and get washed or blown away.