Ukraine keeps a real treasure in its land

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[EN VIDÉO] Dangers of Soil Contamination
Philippe Hubert, Soil Pollution Specialist, discusses the origins as well as possible solutions to be taken to combat this scourge that affects us all. © Futura-Science

Scientists are increasingly warning about degradation continues soil quality and depletion in terms of to matter organic, Ukraine is one of the last places to benefit from extremely rich and fertile soil. These are the famous black soils, which literally means ” Earth blacken”. This color The characteristic is associated with the presence of a large numberhumus, from 3 to 15%. What most farmers in the world envy. Because at present the percentage of organic matter on French agricultural lands is rather about 0.5-2% … Knowing that the amount of humus in the soil is a guarantee of quality and fertility, we better understand what the qualifier “attic” has to do with it. ” from? wheat from Ukraine.

The most fertile lands in Europe

The Ukrainian chernozem is characterized by a large soil thickness enriched with organic matter: an average of 1 meter (sometimes up to 6 m), while on other types of agricultural land it is usually only 20 centimeters. Chernozem also represents great natural wealth of mineralssuch as potassium and phosphorus. This unique quality allows farmers to limit the use of nitrogen and chemical fertilizers. Associated withclay, the organic matter also acts like a sponge, allowing water to be retained in the soil and returned to the plants. Even in times droughtThus, the humidity remaining in these humus soils makes it possible to provide significant yields.

Chernozem is a typical soil of the zones under Weather continental temperate. It was originally associated with grassland environments, steppes, forest or not. The source rock, located at a depth, is composed of carbonates, as a rule, loess. Herbaceous vegetation, characteristic of wild-growing chernozems, has a root system that goes deep into the ground, allowing deep penetration organic matter. This amount of organic matter is constantly fed by decaying roots.

The humification of organic matter is facilitated by low bacteriological activity due to the prevailing climate in these areas. The time for mineralization of organic matter is also very long, which contributes to the creation of rich, stable soil that is not very susceptible to degradation. In addition, in these regions, precipitation annual slightly less than evaporation, and this point is especially important because it avoids the phenomenon of ” leaching “, a synonym for the loss of a precious nutrients.

A land that is not immune from degradation

Therefore, chernozems have long been known for their fertility. Thus, very early, from the Neolithic period, they were turned into arable land. And it is clear that today there are very few black soils in their natural state, covered with wild meadows.

And this is problematic, because although Chernozem is currently recognized as “the best agricultural land in the world”, it is also not immune to damage caused byAgriculture intensive. The share of organic matter in these chernozems has really sharply decreased over the decades. Thus, the humus content in chernozems would have dropped from 12% at the end of the 19th century toas well as century, to a maximum of 6% in the early 1990s.

Still considered resistant to acidification due to with the addition of mineral fertilizers, some studies also show accelerated degradation to which this type of soil is subjected. Naturally, at neutral pH (7), acidification of manure soils actually leads to soil decalcification and, consequently, to progressive depletion. Thus, like the rest of the world’s agricultural land, Ukraine’s black soil is also threatened by the current overexploitation.

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