Soil Revolution Conference Returns to Boulder

On Wednesday, December 12th, the third annual Soil Revolution Conference in Boulder County will take a look at issues surrounding past, present, and future soil health and the way soil has been affected by global agricultural production.

 

 

David Montgomery, key-note speaker at this year’s Conference, is a professor of geomorphology at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at Washington University. He has written several books on soil, including his latest work, Growing a Revolution, focuses on the many problems of conventional agricultural practices and the benefits of sustainable agricultural practices.

 

His other books include Dirt: The Erosions of Civilizations, The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health,  The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood and many more.

 

“There’s a long history of humanity using agricultural practices that degrade the land slowly, slowly enough that it’s not mattering year to year for farmers, but fast enough it adds up over generations to  undermine the fertility of the land.”

 

Montgomery says a significant factor of degradation to the soil is the over-reliance on tillage, which creates increased ease of erosion, which has detrimental effects to farming ecosystems and beyond. The Dust Bowl, a disaster that wreaked havoc on a large portion of the Midwest in the 30s, was caused by the over tilling much of the land that made up those parts of the Midwest, producing multiple years of substantial decreases in crop production and yield.

 

“[the Dust Bowl] was, in a nutshell, the story of agricultural degradation in societies past… and its a problem, that I’m happy to say, that we can actually solve. We don’t have to repeat the lessons of ancient and more recent history in our history in our own country, and it revolves around thinking about a new style of regenerative farming, and that’s a lot of what we will be talking about on Wednesday at the soil revolution in boulder.”

 

The Soil Revolution event will shed light on the past, present, and future issues surrounding soil health, including the history of global agricultural production, agronomic and financial benefits for today’s producers, and the importance of creating resilient landscapes. New this year is a live rainfall simulator demonstration. Speakers include Dannele Peck, David Montgomery, John Kempf, Darrin Unruh, and local producers Michael Moss and Sondra Pierce.