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Saving the Soil
Saving the Soil
The uppermost layer of the earth is called soil. It is made up of rocks, organic substances, mineral, water and air. Soil is essential for life on earth. Plants grow in soils which are eaten by other animals. Various insects, worms and other organisms breathe in the air present inside the soil.
About 300 million tiny creatures live in everyone hectare of soil. Rodents, insects, millipedes, mites, sea bugs, snakes, spiders, earthworms and other types of worms, reptiles and protozoa are commonly found in soil. They grow due to Base Exchange capacity of soil in the presence of potassium and phosphorus. These creatures produce organic substances for soil by decay of their dead bodies and waste products.
When man learnt about importance of soil for the production of food, he shaved off jungles, built dams for water and worked against laws of nature. In this way, he progressed a lot but forgot that excessive crop cultivation, cutting of forests and overgrazing will cause soil erosion, and consequently turn fertile land into deserts. The areas, where ancient civilization of Nile valley, Mesopotamia, Sindhu valley and Vi- ho valley of china were flourished, have been converted into barren lands today. Only 20% area of the old Iraq civilization is under cultivation now. Today, even after knowing the importance of the soil, we are destroying more than 3000 tons of soil every second. For good growth of crops we have to conserve the soil and this can be done by controlling erosion. Soil erosion is caused by wind and water. Erosion is also caused by overgrazing, forest fires and growing same crops repeatedly. Erosion makes the soil waterless and causes the death of wild animals. It increases the possibility of floods. Erosion can be controlled by planting trees, bushes and grass. It can also be stopped by controlling soil flow with the help of dams and retaining walls. Contour plougning, deep ploughing, step farming and mixing of organic matter in the soil is also helpful in controlling soil erosion. The repeated use of chemical fertilizers also reduces the fertility of the soil. It can be controlled to some extent by the use of compost and home made manures.
Briefly we can do soil conservation in the following ways:
- By planting grass and plants
- By constructing dams
- By doing contour farming
- By prohibiting animal feeding
- By prohibiting cutting of forests
- Alternate cultivation of crops
We can prevent soil erosion by applying these methods.