K-State expert: Why soil is necessary component for life to exist | Ag Professional

K-State expert: Why soil is necessary component for life to exist

By Kansas State University January 14, 2015 | 11:40 am EST COMMENTS

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Soil, along with water, air and sunlight, are essential components for any life to exist, including crops such as wheat.

Many authors have documented the rise and fall of civilizations throughout time. Reasons for this rollercoaster effect are numerous—from human-influenced changes such as conquest, culture or religion, to events that occur in the natural environment including changes in climate or the presence of natural resources, such as soil.

Soil is one of the four essential components for any life to exist, with the other three being water, air and sunlight. Without those four, there simply would not be any food grown on the earth’s surface, said Gary Pierzynski, university distinguished professor and head of the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University.

Civilizations have risen and fallen throughout history due to soil quality and how people manage the soil. So in most cases, the degradation of the soil resource that led to these civilizations’ despair was human-influenced. Author Jared Diamond chronicles such stories in his New York Times bestselling book “Collapse.”

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