All terrestrial life depends on soil, directly or indirectly. Although our understanding of topsoil has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decades, we are still losing this invaluable resource at a frightening pace.
Less than thirty per cent of the world’s topsoil remains in fair or acceptable condition. The fragility of this vital layer can be illustrated through a simple comparison: if one imagines the earth as an orange, the extremely thin topsoil layer is no thicker than the shine on the skin of that orange. An astonishing variety of creatures rely on this ‘shine’ for all of their basic necessities.
Our growing knowledge about soil has formed the basis of new soil services, soil analyses and many well-intended soil conservation attempts, yet we are still losing soil at an ever-increasing rate. If this trend continues for much longer, our current form of society will eventually collapse – and mainly as a result of practices as simple as over tilling.