Protecting Soil on Canadian Farms: U of Guelph Researchers Explore Innovative Solutions

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‘Not just dirt’: U of Guelph researchers seek ways to protect soil on Canadian farms



“In a recent report from the Senate of Canada, concerns are rising about the decreasing amount of soil across the country and its potential impact on food production. However, amidst this alarming trend, a group of researchers at the University of Guelph are pioneering efforts to improve soil health.

Understanding the Importance of Soil Conservation

Kari Dunfield, along with her colleagues Laura Van Eerd and Claudia Wagner-Riddle, initiated the Soils at Guelph project in 2019. Their goal is to not only protect the health of soil in Canada but also to disseminate crucial information to farmers, industry stakeholders, and the general public. According to Dunfield, the abundance of natural resources in Canada, including its diverse soil types, is a privilege that must be preserved.

The Collaborative Approach to Soil Conservation

Through networking and collaboration, the Soils at Guelph team believes in an inclusive approach towards soil conservation. By fostering a deeper understanding of the importance of soil health, they aim to create a toolbox of strategies that individuals can adopt based on their specific needs and circumstances. Dunfield emphasizes the need for the involvement of various stakeholders, including other provinces, to collectively work towards soil protection.

Challenges and Opportunities for Soil Conservation in Canada

Dunfield acknowledges the challenges facing soil conservation, such as erosion, pollution, and loss due to development. She emphasizes that soil is a non-renewable resource that plays a vital role in not just food production but also the overall economy. As the Soils at Guelph project reaches its five-year milestone, Dunfield expresses optimism about the ongoing research efforts.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Soil Conservation

As the team looks towards the future, Dunfield believes that they are just scratching the surface of soil conservation in Canada. With a commitment to working with diverse communities and implementing their approach nationwide, the team is determined to make a meaningful impact on soil health across the country.

In conclusion, the critical importance of soil conservation cannot be understated. As we continue to face environmental challenges, it is crucial to recognize that protecting our soil resources is fundamental to ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.”



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