Agriculture Science - Soils and Farming

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Factors that Affect Soil Nutrients
Nutrient availability can be influenced by several factors and these include: 1. Soil Ph: The relative concentration of the hydrogen irons and or hydroxyl irons may either increase or decrease nutrient availability. 2. The Presence of Other Nutrients: The essence of the various mineral salts will either increase or decrease the other mineral salts in the soil. 3. Leaching: This encourages the draining of mineral salts from the topsoil to subsoil thereby depriving plants of such nutrients. 4. Crop Removal: This may be in form of clean clearing, deforestation or cutting down of harvested crops which lead to loss of nutrients in the soil. 5. Oxidation and Reduction: This is a form of chemical reaction in which the electron(s) is or are either lost or gained thereby changing the state of the mineral salts. In such a changed state, the mineral salts may be washed away. 6. Burning: This kills soil organisms, destroys the texture and structure of the soil and finally reduces plant nutrients. 7. Erosion: This helps in washing away of soil nutrients from one place to another, and may occur under the influence of heavy rain or wind storm.

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of primarily mineral constituents, which differ from the parent materials in their texture, structure, consistence, color, chemical, biological and other physical characteristics. Plants and crops need soil to live and grow on; they are important for the environment, animals, and human beings as they release oxygen into the environment during photosynthesis, and are sources of food for omnivores, and herbivores. Therefore, soil erosion, which is the deterioration of soil by the physical movement of soil particles from a given site, can damage the environment; destroy the human beings and animals’ food sources. In this research paper, I will discuss about the causes, effects and the solutions for the soil erosion. There are many different processes of soil erosion. The two most common ones are the water and wind erosions. Soil erosion by water is the result of rain detaching and transporting vulnerable soil, either directly by means of rain splash or indirectly by rill and gully erosion. Rain splash erosion occurs when rain moves soil directly. Splash is more effective with high intensity rain to detach and move soil for a distance. However, rain splash erosion is not as serious as the others are because although a quite decent amount of soil is moved, it will later be redistributed back over the surface of the soil again. Stormy and rainy tropical areas near the equator are the places suffer more from rain splash because of their high intensity rainfall, which is needed for rain splash. Rainfall may also move soil indirectly, by means of runoff in rills-small channels or gullies-larger channels, which are too big to be removed by tillage. In many parts of the world, rill and gully erosion is the dominant form of water erosion. A portion of the rainfall, which is not absorbed into the soil, runs down the hill and creates runoff or overland flow as it is under gravity force. Besides that water erosion, wind erosion is also a concerned problem for the soil. It usually occurs when the dry, dusty and sandy soil, which is not adequately taken care and protected by the plants, is blown away by the strong wind. Besides that, human activities cause 10 times more soil erosion than all natural processes combined, according to a new study. Moreover, it has been that way for a long time. Human beings participate in creating the soil erosion by their over-cultivation, and deforestation that weaken the soil, and destroy the plants that protect the soil from the wind and rainfall. An example for the participation in making the erosion of the soil is in the article Soil Erosion, it states that for every ton of wheat, sugar or other agricultural crop produced, South Africa loses an average of 20 tons of soil. The main...
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