Soil, air, water, and wildlife that share the land with agricultural production are all impacted by soil management. National Soil Conservation Week, which runs from April 17 to 23, is focusing on the importance of proper land stewardship for the benefit of all resources - especially soil - under our care.
"Canadian farmers realize in order to operate sustainably for the benefit of future generations, soil, air, water and wildlife need to be cared for properly," says Paul Thoroughgood, Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) chair. "Soil conservation is much more than making the land we farm more productive," adds Thoroughgood. "Producers see their farms as directly linked with issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, water quality, air quality and biodiversity."
Led by SCCC, National Soil Conservation Week is an annual effort to put the spotlight on the continuing success in soil management while at the same time keeping soil health top-of-mind for both farmers and the public.
SCCC's Summit on Canadian Soil Health in December 2015, outlined the views, issues and challenges that farmers, scientists and industry face in soil conservation and health. Results from the Summit clearly made the case that more work is needed in Canada to support the intensification of agriculture in a sustainable way as world food demand grows.
"We want Canada to be a world leader in using sustainable management practices and production systems that ensure our agricultural landscapes continue to produce food, fibre and other products in the best manner possible," says SCCC vice-chair, Alan Kruszel. "Sustainable agriculture is dependent on good soil conservation practices. Environmentally responsible food production should be everyone's priority and ultimately starts with the soil."
To celebrate National Soil Conservation Week, SCCC is launching a photo contest that focuses on the themes of soil, water, air and biodiversity as they relate to healthy agricultural landscapes in Canada. The contest aims to show Canadians what farming sustainably in this country really looks like. For more information, visit www.soilcc.ca.