White House OSTP issues call to action to save America’s soil

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is issuing a national Call to Action and forming an interagency group to protect America’s soil. In issuing this call to action, OSTP seeks innovative actions from Federal agencies, academic scientists and engineers, farmers, entrepreneurs, businesses, advocates, and members of the public in a nationwide effort to impede soil loss, enhance soil genesis, and restore degraded soils.

In the United States, estimates are that soil on cultivated cropland is eroding at an average rate of 5.2 tons per acre per year, while the average rate of soil formation falls between 0.008 and 0.51 tons per acre per year. Some parts of the Midwest are losing soil at a much faster rate, especially during extreme weather events—in some regions of the United States, erosion has been measured at over 100 tons per acre in a single storm. That means that a layer of soil that took over 350 years to form was destroyed in a single day.

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