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More and more soil turns into wasteland every year

More than 30 % of the world's soils are affected, with an additional 10 million hectares being added each year.

17.05.2020 Author: Isolde Moussot Original language: de Translator: Isolde Moussot

One third of pasture land and a quarter of all arable land and forests worldwide are affected. Biodiversity and thus life in the soil is also threatened. As a result, the regeneration of the soil is also at risk.

In four places the soils suffer from "poor nutrition". Too much synthetic chemistry and manure and too little organic material from plant residues or dung. On top of that there are the pesticides. As a result, soils become salty and dry. Microrganisms and earthworms, which are so important for the production of humus and thus for fertile soils, suffer from this. 40 percent of all earthworm species are on the red list and 25 percent of the large fungi are endangered according to a report by Bündnis 90 Die Grünen.

Due to increasing global warming and the associated increase in drought and extreme weather events, soils are drying out even more. Valuable arable land is being washed away because there is no longer any support. In order to still allow plant growth, more fertiliser is applied, which places even more strain on the soil and additionally pollutes the groundwater. The nitrate limits of the groundwater in Germany are already exceeded in many places. This is particularly dangerous for babies and pregnant women.

Once the soil has become wasteland it is very difficult to make it usable for the landscape again. Over several generations it is lost for the production of food.

One solution can be organic farming with changing crop rotations.

In addition, everyone can contribute with the choice of their food to improve and maintain the extinction of species in the soil and the quality of the soil. A good possibility is to buy food from organic farming.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Sources:

https://www.bund-rlp.de/service/meldungen/detail/news/studie-boeden-we

https://www.gruene-bundestag.de/themen/biologische-vielfalt-naturschut

https://www.zeit.de/2019/06/erdboden-erdkruste-oekosystem-bodenfruchtb

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruchtfolge

Further links:

https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/boden-landwirtschaft/bodenbelast