On average, Ontario agricultural soils have suffered serious losses of organic matter (soil carbon) in the last thirty years. This reduces soils’ ability to absorb and hold water and nutrients, so they dry out faster in droughts and become flooded and erode easily in heavy rain. On poorer soil, farmers have to use more nutrients and pesticides, which are costly and can adversely affect water quality and wildlife.
The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) released a technical report today, Putting Soil Health First: A Climate-Smart Idea for Ontario. The report shows how healthy soils can both mitigate, and adapt to, climate change, while also increasing yields, protecting the environment, and increasing farm profits. The report also profiles several farmers from Ontario and the United States who are leaders in enhancing soil health, and the increased health, resilience and profits of their farms.
The Environmental Commissioner’s technical report, Putting Soil Health First: A Climate-Smart Idea for Ontario, can be downloaded here.