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Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings PowerPoint ® Slides prepared by Jay Withgott and Heidi Marcum Copyright © 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings PowerPoint ® Slides prepared by Jay Withgott and Heidi Marcum Copyright © 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings PowerPoint ® Slides prepared by Jay Withgott and Heidi Marcum Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Ch 9 Soil and Agriculture Part 2: Environmental Issues and the Search for Solutions

2 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings This lecture will help you understand: The relationship between soils and agriculture Major agricultural developments The fundamentals of soil science Causes and consequences of soil erosion and degradation Principles of soil conservation

3 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings No-till agriculture in Southern Brazil Southern Brazil’s climate and soils make for bountiful harvests Repeated planting has diminished the productivity of the soil Leaving crop residues on their fields after harvesting and planting “cover crops” reduced erosion, increased yields and cut costs These no-till techniques have benefited everyone

4 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil: the foundation for agriculture Land devoted to agriculture covers 38% of Earth’s land surface Agriculture = practice of raising crops and livestock for human use and consumption Cropland = land used to raise plants for human use Rangeland or pasture = land used for grazing livestock Soil = a complex plant-supporting system consisting of disintegrated rock, organic matter, water, gases, nutrients, and microorganism -It is a renewable resource

5 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Population and consumption degrades soil Feeding the world’s rising human population requires changing our diet or increasing agricultural production Land suitable for farming is running out We must find ways to improve the efficiency of food production Mismanaged agriculture turns grasslands into deserts; removes forests; diminishes biodiversity; and pollutes soil, air, and water -Fertile soil is blown and washed away

6 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Millions of acres of cropland are lost each year We lose 5-7 million ha (12-17 million acres) of productive cropland annually

7 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil degradation has many causes Soil degradation results from deforestation, agriculture and overgrazing Over the past 50 years, soil degradation has reduced global grain production by 13%

8 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Agriculture arose 10,000 years ago Agriculture was invented independently by different cultures The earliest plant and animal domestication is from the “Fertile Crescent” of the Middle East -Wheat, barley, rye, peas, lentils, onions, goats, sheep

9 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Traditional agriculture Traditional agriculture = biologically powered agriculture, using human and animal muscle power -Subsistence agriculture = families produce only enough food for themselves -Intensive agriculture = produces excess food to sell -Uses animals, irrigation and fertilizer, but not fossil fuels

10 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Industrialized agriculture is a recent phenomenon Industrialized agriculture = using large-scale mechanization and fossil fuels to boost yields -Also uses pesticides, irrigation and fertilizers -Monocultures = uniform planting of a single crop Green revolution = the use of new technology, crop varieties and farming practices introduced to developing countries -Increased yields -Created new problems and worsened old ones

11 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-7, p. 277 4% Food production Food distribution and preparation Food processing LivestockCrops 5%6%2% 17% of total U.S. commercial energy use

12 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-4, p. 275 Plantation agriculture Shifting cultivation Industrialized agriculture No agriculture Intensive traditional ag. Nomadic herding

13 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil as a system Soil consists of mineral matter, organic matter, air, and water -Dead and living microorganisms, and decaying material -Bacteria, algae, earthworms, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles Since soil is composed of living and non-living matter, it is considered an ecosystem

14 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil formation is slow and complex Parent material = the base geologic material of soil -Lava, volcanic ash, rock, dunes -Bedrock = the continuous mass of solid rock comprising the Earth’s crust Weathering = the physical, chemical, or biological processes that break down rocks to form soil -Physical (mechanical) = wind and rain, no chemical changes in the parent material -Chemical = substances chemically interact with parent material -Biological = organisms break down parent material

15 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Weathering produces soil

16 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Other processes affect soil formation Erosion = the dislodging and movement of soil by wind or water -Occurs when vegetation is absent Biological activity includes decomposition, and accumulation of organic matter -Humus = a dark, spongy, crumbly mass of material formed by partial decomposition

17 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings A soil profile consists of horizons Horizon = each layer of soil Soil profile = the cross-section of soil as a whole Up to six major horizons may occur in a soil profile -Topsoil = inorganic and organic material most nutritive for plants -Leaching = dissolved particles move down through horizons

18 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil Horizons  Litter layer – deposited organic matter  Topsoil – organic/mineral components  Leached layer – lighter in color due to loss of organics/minerals  Subsoil – where leached organics/minerals accumulate  Weathered Parent Material  Bedrock or Pure Parent Material

19 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soils are characterized in many ways Soils are classified based on color, texture, structure, and pH Soil color = indicates its composition and fertility -Black or dark brown = rich in organic matter -Pale gray or white = indicates leaching Soil texture = determined by the size of particles -From smallest to largest = clay, silt, sand -Loam = soil with an even mixture of the three -Influences how easy it is to cultivate and let air and water travel through the soil

20 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil texture classification Silty soils with medium-size pores, or loamy soils with mixtures of pore sizes are best for plant growth and crop agriculture

21 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Soil structure and pH Soil structure = a measure of soil’s “clumpiness” -Large clumps can discourage plant roots -Repeated tilling compacts soil, decreasing its water- absorbing capabilities -Plowpan = a hard layer resulting from repeated plowing that resists water infiltration and root penetration Soil pH = influences a soil’s ability to support plant growth -Soils that are too acidic or basic can kill plants

22 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Cation exchange is vital for plant growth Cation exchange = process that allows plants to gain nutrients -Negatively charged soils hold cations (positively charged ions) of calcium, magnesium, and potassium Cation exchange capacity = a soil’s ability to hold cations, preventing them from leaching, thereby increasing their availability to plants -A useful measure of soil fertility -Greatest in fine soils

23 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Regional differences in soils affect agriculture Rainforests have high primary productivity, but the nutrients are in plants, not the soil -Rain leaches minerals and nutrients deeper into the soil, reducing their accessibility to roots -Swidden agriculture = cultivation of a plot for a few years and then letting it regrow into forest Temperate grasslands have lower rainfall and less nutrient leaching

24 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Erosion degrades ecosystems and agriculture Deposition = the arrival of eroded material at its new location Flowing water deposits sediment in river valleys and deltas -Floodplains are excellent for farming But, erosion is a problem because it occurs faster than new soil is formed Erosion increases through: excessive tilling, overgrazing, and clearing forests

25 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-10, p. 279 Some concern Serious concern Stable or nonvegetative

26 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Various types of soil erosion Splash Sheet Rill Gully

27 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Wind Erosion Can equal or exceed water in erosive force o Row crops, corn and soybean, leave the soil exposed for most of the year o Deep-plowing and heavy herbicide use create weed free fields that allow wind/water to erode between plants 25 billion metric tons of soil are lost yearly due to wind and water erosion

28 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings The Dust Bowl In the late 19 th and early 20th centuries, settlers arrived in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado Grew wheat, grazed cattle -Removed vegetation A drought in the 1930s made conditions worse Thousands of farmers left their land and had to rely on governmental help

29 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Desertification Desertification = a loss of more than 10% productivity -Erosion, soil compaction, forest removal, overgrazing, salinization, climate change, depletion of water sources Most prone areas = arid and semiarid lands

30 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-11, p. 280 Very severeSevereModerate

31 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Desertification has high costs Desertification affects 1/3 of the planet’s land area -In over 100 countries Costs tens of billions of dollars each year -China loses over $6.5 billion/year alone from goat overgrazing -In Kenya, 80% of he land is vulnerable to desertification from overgrazing and deforestation

32 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-12, p. 280 CausesConsequences Overgrazing Worsening drought Deforestation Famine Erosion Economic losses Salinization Lower living standards Soil compaction Natural climate change Environmental refugees

33 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-13, p. 281 Evaporation Transpiration Evaporation Waterlogging Salinization Waterlogging 1. Irrigation water contains small amounts of dissolved salts 2. Evaporation and transpiration leave salts behind. 3. Salt builds up in soil. 1. Precipitation and irrigation water percolate downward. 2. Water table rises. Less permeable clay layer

34 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Overapplication of Fertilizer Inorganic fertilizer use has skyrocketed Overapplying fertilizer can ruin the soil and severely pollute several areas Runoff causes eutrophication in nearby water systems Nitrates leach through soil and contaminate groundwater Nitrates can also volatilize (evaporate) into the air

35 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Environmental effects of over-fertilizing

36 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Overgrazing causes soil degradation Overgrazing = too many animals eat too much of the plant cover -Impedes plant regrowth A leading cause of soil degradation Government subsidies provide few incentives to protect rangeland 70% of the world’s rangeland is classified as degraded

37 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Effects of overgrazing can be striking Non-native invasive species invade -Less palatable to livestock -Out compete native vegetation Ungrazed plot Grazed plot

38 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Forestry impacts soil Along with farming and ranching, forestry impacts soils Clear-cutting = the removal of all trees from an area at once -Leads to soil erosion, especially on steep slopes Modern methods remove fewer trees over longer periods of time -Minimizes soil erosion

39 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Protecting soil: crop rotation and contour farming Crop Rotation = alternating the crops grown field from one season or year to the next, -Cover crops protect soil when main crops aren’t planted -Wheat or corn and soybeans Contour Farming = plowing furrows sideways across a hillside, perpendicular to its slope, to prevent rills and gullies

40 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Protecting soil: terracing and intercropping Terracing = level platforms are cut into steep hillsides, sometimes with raised edges -A “staircase” to contain water Intercropping = planting different types of crops in alternating bands or other spatially mixed arrangements -Increases ground cover

41 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Protecting soil: shelterbelts and reduced tillage Shelterbelts or Windbreaks = rows of trees or other tall, perennial plants that are planted along the edges of fields to slow the wind -Alley cropping = shelterbelts + intercropping Reduced Tillage = furrows are cut in the soil, a seed is dropped in and the furrow is closed -No-till farming disturbs the soil even less

42 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Pros and cons of no-till farming Almost half of U.S. farmland uses no-till farming Benefits: reduced soil erosion, greater crop yields, enhanced soils, lowers water use, lowers pesticide use, uses less tractor fuel Negatives: increased use of herbicides and fertilizers But, green manure (dead plants and fertilizer) and rotating crops minimizes the negatives

43 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Plant cover reduces erosion Eroding banks along creeks and roadsides are stabilized by planting plants to anchor soil China has the world’s largest tree- planting program -It does slow erosion -But it does not create ecologically functional forests, because monocultures are planted

44 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Salinization prevention It is easier and cheaper to prevent salinization than fix it Do not plant water-guzzling crops in sensitive areas Irrigate with low-salt water Irrigate efficiently, supplying only water that the crop requires -Drip irrigation targets water directly to plants

45 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fig. 13-15, p. 281 Cleanup Prevention Soil Salinization Solutions Reduce irrigation Switch to salt- tolerant crops (such as barley, cotton, sugarbeet) Flush soil (expensive and wastes water) Stop growing crops for 2–5 years Install underground drainage systems (expensive)

46 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Fertilizers boost yields but cause problems Fertilizers -substances that contain essential nutrients -can help restore soil nutrients, but runoff of inorganic fertilizers can cause water pollution. Commercial inorganic fertilizers: Active ingredients contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and other trace nutrients mined or synthetically manufactured mineral supplements Organic fertilizers: from plant and animal (fresh, manure, or compost) remains. -manure, crop residues, fresh vegetation -Compost = produced when decomposers break down organic matter

47 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings The Soil Conservation Service Started in 1935, the Service works with farmers to develop conservation plans for farms -Assess the land -Prepare an integrated plan -Work closely with landowners -Implement conservation measures Conservation districts = districts operate with federal direction, authorization, and funding, but are organized by the states

48 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Conservation districts Districts implement soil conservation programs to empower local residents to plan and set priorities Natural Resources Conservation Service = 1994 renaming of the Soil Conservation Service -Expanded responsibilities include water quality protection and pollution control -Serves as a model for efforts around the world

49 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings U.S. programs promote soil conservation Food Security Act of 1985: Farmers that adopt soil conservation plan receive price supports and other benefits Conservation Reserve Program (1985) -Farmers are paid to place highly erodible land into conservation reserves -Trees and grasses are planted instead of crops -Saves 771 million tons of topsoil per year -Generates income for farmers -Provides habitat for native wildlife

50 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Federal Agricultural Improvement Act (1996) Known as the Freedom to Farm Act -Aimed to reduce subsidies and government influence over farm products -Created the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and Natural Resource Conservation Foundation -Promotes and pays for conservation practices in agriculture Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture Program (1998) -Provides funding for sustainable agricultural practices for individual farmers

51 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings International soil conservation programs Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) = the United Nations’ main agricultural program The FAO’s Farmer-Centered Agricultural Resource Management Program (FAR)… -Helps farmers duplicate agricultural success stories -Uses local communities to educate and encourage farmers to conserve soils and secure the food supply -Supports innovative approaches to resource management and sustainable agriculture in around the world -China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal

52 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings Conclusion Programs in the U.S. and the world have been successful in reducing topsoil erosion These programs require: -Research, education, funding, and commitment from farmers and governments To avoid a food crisis caused by population growth, we need -Better technology -Wider adoption of soil conservation techniques -To consider Aldo Leopold’s land ethic program

53 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Review Traditional subsistence agriculture uses all of the following, except: a)Animal power b)Irrigation c)Irrigation water d)Fossil fuels

54 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Review Physical weathering is characterized by: a)The chemical interaction of water with parent material b)Organisms breaking down parent material c)Wind or rain breaking down parent material d)The dislodging or movement of soil by wind

55 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Review Which horizon is the most valuable for agriculture? a)Topsoil (A horizon) b)E horizon c)B horizon d)R horizon

56 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Review Erosion increases through all of the following, except: a)Excessive tilling b)Overgrazing c)Clearing forests d)All of the above increase erosion

57 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Review Which sustainable farming method involves planting rows of trees along field edges to slow the wind? a)Terracing b)Crop rotation c)Shelterbelts d)Contour farming

58 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Weighing the Issues Should developed nations fund reforestation projects in developing nations to combat erosion and deforestation? a)Absolutely, developing nations are facing a crisis b)No, not with money, but developed nations could give advice c)No, developed nations had to solve their problems, let the others solve their own problems d)I don’t care, it doesn’t really affect me

59 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Weighing the Issues Should the U.S. government provide farmers with financial incentives to use technologies such as no-till farming and crop rotation? a)Absolutely, farmers may be more likely to switch to these techniques b)Yes, but farmers must put any money received into the farm c)No, it’s not the government’s job to interfere with farming practices d)I don’t care, it doesn’t really affect me

60 Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings QUESTION: Interpreting Graphs and Data According to this figure, which of the following is NOT true? a) Reduced tillage results in less nitrogen loss b) Conventional tillage causes more soil loss c) Organic carbon lost is greater with reduced tillage d) Conventional and reduced tillage have few differences


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