The history of the earth and the soil

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    Authors & editors

    Publisher Milling & Grain
    Year of publication 2017

    Medium Digital

    Cereal processes > Cereal and milling science

    Scope & contentMillers can exercise great power and wisdom in their choice of crop feedstock to promote positive change in developing countries. These crop feedstock choices influence the soil that feeds us all, together with the seabed, sea and lakes, which are hugely influenced by the choice of crops we grow on land and how we grow them. A negative example of these effects on the sea is the fertiliser run off into the Gulf of Mexico resultant from crop farming activities.

    Also in terms of modern farming of crops the soil has more recently been considered a growing medium – however it is absolutely no such thing! The soil is a living thing with a finely balanced micro-fauna and flora, which in turn support very complex life cycles and organic interactions in the soil biome. A teaspoon full of healthy soil contains roughly a billion living organisms - an astounding accomplishment for something many regard as dirt on their shoes or upon which we build and cover with buildings and roads. You are sat upon soil wherever you are reading this article.

    Field production systems that are to be encouraged and developed in the crop feedstock production process are ‘no till’ where the soil is not inverted prior to planting and thus is less exposed to weathering loss, carbon loss and desertification. Also removing the use of chemical dessicants by incorporating swathing and pick up techniques at harvest is a simple but healthy step…Read more.


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