Plants and animals often "form the core of what comes to mind when we think about our environment". These two resources are at the heart of much of the conservation work done by NRCS and Soil and Water Conservation Districts to support healthy ecosystems.
"Healthy populations of plants and animals are critical for life. Invasive plants and pests can ruin crop fields and forests and drastically alter the natural processes of ecosystems."
Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge & Technology to Feed the World
Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops and raising livestock. ... Higher-technology farming involves crop rotation, which requires knowledge of farmable land.
There are many articles that estimate the population of the Earth to be approximately 9 billion by the year 2050. One of the primary concerns for the agricultural industry is how will farmers be able to grow enough food to feed this growing population, while also protecting natural resources such as soil, water, air, wildlife, and forestry resources.
High Schools have the opportunity to form Envirothon Teams for students that in addition can learn concepts of how agriculture and all natural resource areas are interrelated, and how the use of new technologies are key to increase food production.
The 2019 Envirothon Current Environmental key topics will include:
- Understand the importance of moving toward sustainable farming systems to conserve natural resources, mitigate climate change, reduce erosion and protect water quality and quantity, and promote pollination;
- Comprehension of farming practices that build soil organic matter such as composting, crop rotations, cover crops, conservation tillage, and management intensive grazing systems to improve soil health;
- Understand integrated pest management and biological pest control techniques used to prevent insect pest, disease, and weed problems;
- Understand the role of new technology: agricultural biotechnology; precision agriculture; and using UAV (drones, GIS, etc.) to increase farm efficiency for food production.
Warren County SWCD assists property owners with fly-on cover crops. Call or email our office today to find out more and DISCOVER THE COVER!
- There are more individual organisms in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth. Over 7 Billion People populate the Earth!
- There is a community of organisms called a soil food web that live all or parts of their lives in soil. See if you recognize them: Photo Gallery (play slideshow).
- Tilling the soil is the equivalent of an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, and forest fire occurring simultaneously in the world of soil organisms.
- Many soils are held together by a glue made of protein produced by fungi.
- The size of soil particles and pores in the soil influence how water moves through the soil.
- Water and warmth on hillsides can make layers of soil on hillside thinner than soil layers on level land.
- It can take as long as 1,000 years for 1” of soil to form. See what happened in history in just half that time: Poster - "In the Time it Took to Form 1 in. of Soil"
- More farmers and ranchers are managing for soil health by disturbing their soil as little as possible, growing as many different species of plants as practical, keeping live plants in the soil as often as possible and keeping the soil covered constantly.