Soil is a very important natural resource; it provides a habitat for various organisms and is a fundamental part of sustainable food production. It consists of organic matter and mineral content, both of which contribute to the fertility of the soil (Soffe, 2003).
Sustainability of soil is vital for the future of agriculture and the population; in order to produce enough food for the ever-increasing population. It is technically a non-renewable resource therefore it is imperative that it is managed properly (Defra, 2011).
It is important to focus on the maintenance of long-term soil productivity, by using systems to enhance natural fertility and minimise the need for use of chemicals and artificial fertilisers where possible …show more content…
Therefore agriculture faces a huge challenge: producing enough food for everyone alongside being as environmentally friendly as possible. This is why managing soil sustainably is vital.
An important aspect is the use of nutrients in crop production. More nutrition is required by the land in order to maximise crop yields. This largely involves the use of artificial fertilisers, as well as organic manures and other products. The use of inorganic fertilisers is having major effects on the environment; impacting the atmosphere through greenhouse gas emissions, the quality of the soil and also water quality (Defra, 2010).
Profitability of farming and environmental impact can be improved by better nutrient management. Making sure nutrients are applied at the optimum time and of the correct amount will ensure maximum utilisation by crops and reduce losses.
Protecting the soil
Soil protection is key. Sustaining fertility and protecting soil structure whilst increasing food production is very important. Soil fertility can be maintained by proper use of fertilisers, lime and manure. Improving fertility will maximise profitability of the farming business and allow maximum output from the land (Defra,