Peak Soil Poses a Threat to World’s Food Supply

Tim Hornibrook has amassed considerable experience in the world’s agricultural markets. The former head of Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management in Sydney, Australia, Tim Hornibrook established and led a business that owned and operated agricultural properties on behalf of investors. He is familiar with conditions that could alter food supplies, including the phenomenon of peak soil.

In a July 2014 Business Insider article, Hornibrook noted that a lack of diversity in crops has led to degraded soil. Rather than conserving the soil, he says, agricultural methods are depleting it. Other factors responsible for peak soil include overgrazing, deforestation, and over-production of food crops. These practices can remove useful microbes and essential nutrients.

Farmers often compensate by clearing more land for agriculture, but the necessary removal of trees could exacerbate global warming. Other counter measures exist. Planting cover crops holds back erosion on land while it is not being farmed, and soil mapping provides a better idea of existing soil chemistry. Education about these solutions and technological advances will help soil conservation.


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