Canola School: There’s more to soil than just what you see

(USDA-ARS photo by Peggy Greb)

Did you know that soil helps to remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, helps to clean water as it percolates through, and is filled with living organisms?

Our soil and its health isn’t just imperative to agriculture — but to many other aspects of our ever-growing population.

Jim Tokarchuk, executive director with the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) was recently at Crops-A-Palooza in Carberry, Man. to talk all things soil. In this Canola School episode he explains to RealAgriculture field editor, Kara Oosterhuis that within the next 30 years our population is going to be around nine billion, which is why taking a look at our soil health is crucial.

The pair also covered SCCC’s #SoilYourUndies campaign, in which he emphasized the message that “it’s not dirt until it gets on your clothes.”

“It’s not just an inert mass. It’s very much alive. There are living creatures, and there are plants, of course. But there’s living creatures — bacteria, fungus, nematodes — all kinds of things in soil that do its functions for us. Those ecosystem functions and the functions of producing food.”

Tokarchuk notes soil health is something that is often overlooked by the general population.

“It’s not just a farm issue; it’s an issue that all Canadians should have a view on. It should be as important to Canadians as clean water and clean air. Those things are all interrelated.”

Check out the conversation around all things soil health, as well as the current state of our soil across Canada, in the Canola School below:

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