Daily Archives: August 11, 2012

Albrecht on Droughts and Soil Fertility

From Glencolton farmshare member Gary Wilson:

Grey County, where Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms is located, has suffered a lack of rain.

In 1938, long before the presumed effects of global warming were being discussed, the soil scientist, William A. Albrecht, Ph.D, listed some of the consequences of declining soil fertility. Number five on this list was “Greater weather hazards”. In 1954, in a paper discussing the increasing records being set for both floods and droughts, he asked, “Are these new records other than man made?”

Albrecht points out that the severity of a drought is measured by damage to crops rather than by meteorological indexes. While droughts are attributed to a lack of rainfall, they are really should be attributed to a lack of water. The soil itself, both the topsoil and the subsoil, as well as the water table below the surface of the soil act a as reservoir for water that can get plants through a period of time of little or no rainfall.  Continue reading

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