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Australia in the Red

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article image Recent dust storms caused the massive loss of valuable top soil throughout affected areas

The massive dust storms which turned eastern Australia red recently showed many Australians the seriousness of the environmental degradation of our landscape. Despite many farmers adopting more regenerative farming systems there are still many to adopt practices that will halt this massive loss of valuable top soil.

75,000 tonnes of top soil were blown out to sea every hour never to return again, such losses are unheard of in the past.

YLAD Living Soils over the past eight years have educated and assisted farmers to turn to more regenerative farming systems by holding many educational, workshops, seminars and field days. Using biological fertilisers, including humus compost farmers have improved soil carbon levels and soil fertility, enabling the growth of more nutritious food for society.

It is now becoming known that the organic carbon levels in Australian soils have dropped from 8% to around 2% in the last 200 years due to current farming practices. Still, today we lose 12.5 kg of soil through wind and erosion to grow 1 kg of wheat, equating to 250 grams of soil lost per slice of bread.

In Australia, we have approximately 60 years of top soil remaining if we don’t take full responsibility for increasing soil organic carbon levels from where they are today by using responsible practices such as rotational grazing, retaining stubbles and increasing soil organisms to glue the soil particles together and reduce wind erosion.

For every tonne of carbon lost from soil we add 3.67 tonnes of carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere. Organic carbon, particularly humus is central to successful soil health, underpinning the future of agriculture in Australia and illustrating to governments that agricultural soils have an enormous role to play in reducing green house gas emissions worldwide.

The level of public awareness pertaining to our environment has never been higher then the present time. Everyone is witnessing the negative impact society is having on the Earth with global warming and the flow on effect to human health. It is only through a heightened awareness of our practices can positive change occur, helping to reverse the damage already done.

More information on how to positively move forward with healthier agricultural practices is available from YLAD Living Soils .

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