Agromin Academic Research
What We Know
Healthy soil is full of life. In fact, it is a model for life itself. It parallels two other life-rich models: the ocean and the atmosphere. There is a zone in each where life can thrive. In the atmosphere, life thrives, with some exceptions, from sea level to the tree line. In the ocean, life thrives where the sun can penetrate, down to about 200 meters. Though the richest, the soil’s life zone is also the narrowest, varying from as tiny as a fraction of an inch to several inches. Within this life zone, also called a "ZOI" or "zone of influence," occurs some of the richest densities of microorganisms on the planet - up to a billion or so per gram of soil. Incredibly, 90 percent of that life occurs within less than 10 percent of the soil’s volume.
One teaspoon of compost-rich organic soil hosts 600 million to 1 billion helpful bacteria from 15,000 species. One teaspoon of chemically treated soil can host as few as 100 bacteria. It takes approximately 3,000 years for nature to produce six inches of topsoil. Every 28 years, 1 inch of topsoil is lost as a result of current farming practices. We’ve lost 1/3 of our topsoil in the last 100 years. Industrial farming created a huge demand for nitrogen fertilizers, and now 25 percent of our green house gas (GHG) emissions are coming from a war against the soil.
What We’re Doing
Agromin has begun an ambitious undertaking in partnership with the Environmental Science and Resource Management program at California State University Channel Islands, and by soliciting support from regional growers and agri-business--to conduct research studies on the importance of healthy soil and sustainable agriculture. This important effort will lead to further research and definition of a Sustainable Coast designation, and to understand the stresses and sustainable solutions to population impacts on coastal areas globally--where 80 percent of the world’s population resides.
Students, teachers, and parties interested in participating in the Sustainable Coast effort can contact Agromin for more information - SustainableCoast@Agromin.com