Understanding soil quality: Part 3

So far we’ve learned that healthy soil leads to healthy animals and healthy people.

But how is that related to various forms of native vegetation?

Well, the former chairman of the soils department at the University of Missouri, Dr. Albrecht, studied just that and correlated that information with the conductivity of the soil for radio reception as mapped by the National Broadcasting Company.

His basic thesis was that higher rainfall patterns in the eastern and southeastern United States have leeched out the native soil fertility elements. Therefore, even though there is ample water in the eastern states, there are not enough of the necessary fertility salts for either good radio reception or for production of protein rich crops. He explained that the low protein crops such as virgin pine trees grow naturally in these areas. In the arid west the fertility salts are ample in the soil, but the moisture is deficient for ideal electrodynamic behavior which gives both good radio reception and higher protein and mineral content for crops.

Understanding Soil Quality

Rainfall and temperature determine the degree of soil development. A moderate rainfall pattern results in development of a soil that is good for production. Higher rainfall area soils are weathered to a greater extent and therefore not as adequate for protein production. The higher rainfall areas are capable of growing more vegetative bulk which also means more decay. With decay, more carbonic acid is formed and the resulting acidity replaces the soil’s natural calcium and magnesium.

Moderate rainfall patterns in the west, and higher rainfall but more moderate temperature in the northwest, form soil clays with a greater capacity to hold or absorb nutrients. Soils formed in the eastern states under higher rainfall patterns and the increasing temperature going from the north to the south means a different clay is formed. These clays have fewer nutrient holding capacity. This explains why coniferous forests grow here, because there is little protein potential in these areas.

It is clear that Dr. Albrecht was correct, and as farmers seek to increase yields it is possible to get a combination of carbohydrates and proteins, or only carbohydrates. Dr. Albrecht tied his explanation to climate, natural soil development, and native habits of buffalo and other animals. Many scientists have now concluded that farmers, through poor soil management, have depleted the nutrients from even the most productive soil areas. In other words, commercial farming as we have known it for the past several decades has greatly accelerated nature’s natural processes.

Next week, we’ll discuss what Andre Voisin, of the Academy of Agriculture of France, noticed when understanding soil quality.

Until next time, happy trails!

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Categories: Soil Wednesday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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