Biotech Updates

CropLife Calls To Enrich Soil in Celebration of the Int'l Day of Biodiversity

May 29, 2013

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 as the International Day of Biological Diversity. In celebration of this event, CropLife International called the attention of farmers, agricultural researchers, and policy makers around the world to support the research and development of agricultural practices that enrich soil, which is one of the world's most valuable resources.

"With more than 30 percent of the world's land mass devoted to farming, agriculture has a tremendous role to play in protecting and preserving our natural resources and biodiversity," notes Howard Minigh, President and CEO of CropLife International. "We know that soil – and the organisms that reside within it – is a precious and vital ingredient of sustainable agriculture. As global leaders in the agricultural community, CropLife International and our members are dedicated to the research and development of technologies which enable sustainable farming practices, enhance farm productivity and support healthy soils and natural habitats."

According to CropLife, conservation tillage (planting of seeds directly in undisturbed land) enabled by the use of herbicides and herbicide tolerant crops, can protect the soil from erosion, evaporation of water, and structural breakdown. Based on a long-term study conducted in the U.S., conservation tillage can increase organic matter by 1,800 pounds per acre per year. So with an estimate of 100 million hectares of land farmed using conservation tillage each year, the organic material can increase by 445 billion pounds, which is sufficient to cover 670,000 hectares with an inch of extra topsoil every year. This total area is bigger that the combined land areas of Paris, Moscow, and London.

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