Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Environmental Sciences Seminar Series: Managing agricultural soil

Learn how farmers are better managing soil and some of the methods they are using to protect and enhance their soils.

Abstract

Dr Sean Smuckler,UBC

Healthy agricultural soil is a critical component to ensuring the availability of a wide range of ecosystem services.

Agriculture dominates roughly 40 percent of the terrestrial ice-free surface of our planet making farmers one of the primary stewards of soil. Despite ample evidence that soil mismanagement has been clearly linked to the decline of previous civilizations, our society largely neglects soils and degradation continues unabated in many parts of the world.

In this presentation, I will discuss the relationship between soil management and multiple ecosystem services. I will share results from some of the recent studies I have been involved in to better understand how farmers are managing soil for these services at the field to the landscape scale.

I will present analyses from studies that have looked at some of the management options farmers are employing to protect and enhance their soils including planting hedgerows and grassland set-asides, installing drainage tile, using organic nutrients, and adopting agroforestry to ensure a suite of ecosystem services in both temperate and tropical regions.