Enlightened Soil Corp on Climate Change

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Six Decades of Industial Agricultural Practices

Have Contributed to Climate Change

With the advent of the "Green Revolution" in the 1960s, commercial agriculture in the western world has largely relied upon continuous soil tilling, mono-cropping, and fertilizing with synthetic-chemical NPK. While the increase in food production was critical for a growing population, over time these practices have led to detrimental decreases in microbial soil health, nutrient-based water contamination, and increased emissions of both Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere.

These industrial agricultural practices contribute significantly to the current climate crises, perpetuating a cycle that circumvents natural growing processes and creates many unwanted side-effects. For instance, tilling the soil disturbs microbial life, diminishing bacteria and fungi's ability to pull nitrogen from the atmosphere and fix it in the soil where it may be used by plants. At the same time, tilling exposes the carbon naturally sequestered in the soil to oxygen, allowing it to escape into the atmosphere. Because, the nitrogen-fixing capacity of the soil's microbes are handicapped, nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium have to be supplemented through industrial fertilizers, much of which is synthetic-chemical NPK. Once NPK is added to soil and it is tilled, N2O is also released into the atmosphere-- a greenhouse gas three times more powerful than CO2.  Keep in mind that we have not even touched on the additional emissions that come from the industrial manufacturing of synthetic NPK.

 

The problem is synthetic-chemical fertilizers bypass natural microbial processes. Synthetic formulations of NPK are applied in forms that can be directly absorbed by plant roots to enhance growth. (For example, nitrogen is provided from "urea.") Synthetic NPK works as a fertilizer and stimulates plant growth, but it does nothing for soil health. Over time soil fertility diminishes, meaning natural bacterial and fungal life deceases, since there is degradation of bacterial and fungal life. Diminished microbial activity is one of the main contributors to soil erosion, and it creates a cycle of dependency on NPK and tilling. The results, over time, are infertile soil that has to be tilled and fertilized to produce anything and a continual release of greenhouse gasses that exacerbate the current climate crisis.

EPA Charts on Percentage of Greenhouse Gasses Created by Current Agricultural Practices

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According to the EPA, as of 2018, N2O (Nitrous Oxide) a greenhouse gas released by the manufacture and use of synthetic-chemical NPK made up 7% of total greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Ten percent of all emissions come from the agricultural industry.

 Healthy Soil is Key to Offset Climate Change

According to The Earth Institute at Columbia University, "The Earth’s soils contain about 2,500 gigatons of carbon—that’s more than three times the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and four times the amount stored in all living plants and animals." (Source). Increasing soil's carbon content and keeping it there is one of the ways we can offset greenhouse emissions that fuel climate change. This type of carbon sequestration is also key to "regenerating" the soil, and healthy soil is the heart of the Regenerative Agriculture Movement. There are a number of growing practices that can be adopted to promote carbon retention in the soil.

Regenerative Practices that Improve Soil Health

& Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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No-till or Reduced-till Practices

This is an article put out by Farmers.gov though the USDA on the benefits of limiting tillage.

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Cover Crops

This article by the USDA discusses the multiple benefits of covercropping.

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En-Soil Algae:

Increase Microbial Health

This links to our Haney Testing reports showing the benefits of bio-stimulants on soil microbes.

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Composting &

Organic  Soil Amendments

This article put out by the USDA California climate HUB discusses the benefits of composting.

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Diversified Planting

& Crop Rotation

This SARE.org page discusses why diversity in planting is important.

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Reduce or Eliminate Synthetic Fertilizers & Pesticides

In this article, the EPA discusses ways to mitigate unwanted side-effects of agro-chemicals.

En-Soil Provides Necessary Bio-stimulation Vital for Maintaining Soil Health

Healthy soil is critical to successful agriculture and is vital to produce the food and fiber we use every day. When soil issues arise from soil organism habitat degradation, erosion, and/or nutrient depletion, they can have long-term and costly impacts to soil health and production goals.

En-Soil Algae is part of the regenerative solution. It provides the bio-stimulation necessary to correct soil issues without costly, environmentally-dangerous, synthetic inputs that contribute to climate change. Even better, when your children's ball fields and playgrounds are treated with En-Soil, you'll know they are not being exposed to synthetic-chemical fertilizers. For that matter, you can let your pets frolic in the yard without worry.  Bees can buzz in the home garden, and the veggies will thrive. 

Enlightened Soil Corp is  committed to regenerative growing practices,

because the future of our soil

... is our future.

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