Take a closer look at your soils on World Soils Day

News article |

World Soil Day, celebrated annually on 5 December, focuses on the importance of sustaining healthy soil resources and the significant role we have to manage our precious soils now and for future generations.

Posted 03 December 2020.

'Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity’

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Sustainable Agriculture Team Leader Tony Randall said World Soils Day is about understanding the importance of soils to sustain healthy agricultural and natural environments, and to recognise the great work that our primary producers are doing to protect, manage and enhance them.

“Eighty percent of the Murraylands and Riverland region is used for production of food, fibre and wine, so primary producers play a vital role in sustainably managing soils to generate the food that keeps us healthy and fed,” Mr Randall said.

“Healthy and productive soils are critical for primary production and food security and for sustaining the wider environment and life on earth as we know it!

“Soils provide habitat for a diverse community of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and insects, constituting the greatest concentration of life in any part of our planet, including the rainforests.

“This diverse and amazing range of organisms fulfil vital functions to keep our soils healthy and productive such as; building soil structure to allow plant root growth into and throughout the soil, creating and mobilising nutrients for plant growth, and even supplying and feeding these nutrients directly to plants.

Soils filter water movement through the landscape to replenish rivers, lakes, seas, and groundwater reserves. They moderate this flow so that plants can access water even in the world’s harshest environments.

Most importantly soils, and the organisms within them, play a crucial role in the function of water, carbon and nitrogen cycles that are critical to the maintenance of life on earth.

Mr Randall said next time you go for a walk in your garden, paddock, or the local park, take a look down at the soil and think about the millions of organisms directly under your feet, going about their business and creating an environment that enables us all to live.

The Sustainable Agriculture program is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the landscape Levies.

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