Friday, April 23, 2010

Its Earth Day!

Soil is an important ingredient in your everyday life. Last evening, you slept in a house  built on soil. You drink water that flows through soil and is cleaned by soil. The air that  you breath comes partly from plants growing in the soil. You even wear clothes made from plants that grow in the soil.
Soil makes our lives possible. We build on them, play on them, drive on them, eat food grown in or raised on them, take medicines made from them, and so much more. The entire earth, every ecosystem and every living organism, is dependent upon soils.
Here are some other facts about soil:
• Soil makes up our outermost layer of our planet.
• Topsoil is the most productive soil layer.
• 5 tons of topsoil spread over every acre is only as thick as a dime.
• Natural processes can take more than 500 years to form one inch of topsoil.
• Soil scientists have identified over 70,000 kinds of soil in the United States.
• Soil is formed from rocks and decaying plants and animals.
• An average soil sample so 45 percent minerals, 25 percent water, 25 percent air and 5 percent organic matter.
• Fungi and bacteria help break down organic matter in the soil.
• Plants roots and lichens break up rocks which become part of the new soil.
• Roots loosen the soil, allowing oxygen to penetrate. These benefit animals living in the soil.
• Roots hold together and help prevent erosion.
So as we celebrate Earth Day this week – let’s truly celebrate the “earth” – the soil that makes our life possible! And, contact us to learn more conservation stewardship practices and programs that helps keep Ohio’s soils productive!
*Facts provided by the USDA,NRCS

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