Reference Article

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Soil

Soil is material capable of supporting plant life.

Soil forms through a variety of soil formation processes, and includes weathered rock "parent material" combined with dead and living organic matter and air.Soils can be divided into two general layers: topsoil, the topmost layer, where most plant roots, microorganisms, and other animal life are located, and subsoil, which is deeper and often more dense and contains less organic matter.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Soil", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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last updated on 2014-09-20 at 10:44 am EDT

United Against Soil Erosion: German Farmers in Georgia

United Against Soil Erosion: German Farmers in Georgia

Deutsche Welle (Nov. 4, 2012) Less rainfall due to climate change and strong mountain winds are causing serious soil erosion in Georgia. The ongoing effects of overforestation and overgrazing during the Soviet era are exacerbating the problem. Even though Georgia's soil is richer in minerals than Germany's, soil erosion has reduced harvests there by up to 40 percent. Now German farmers are providing tips to their Georgian counterparts to help them slow down soil erosion.
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Farming Revolution in South Africa

Farming Revolution in South Africa

Deutsche Welle (Feb. 20, 2012) A new project in South Africa is taking organic waste that would otherwise be left to simply decay in garbage dumps and processing it in a special facility belonging to the South African company Reliance. There, it is converted it into microbiological compost. The project prevents some 100,000 tons of methane gas being emitted into the atmosphere each year. In addition, the compost helps to improve the quality of the soil, makes plants more robust and helps farmers cut down on the use of pesticides. It's also helping South Africa tackle one of its biggest problems: the massive use of chemical fertilizers in the country has made the ground infertile, caused soil erosion and led to contaminated water.
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Butterflies Under Threat From Roads and Chemicals

Butterflies Under Threat From Roads and Chemicals

AFP (Aug. 7, 2013) Half of Europe's butterflies will disappear in the next two decades because of pesticides and soil pollution, according to experts.
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Researchers Discover Gold Growing in Trees in Australia

Researchers Discover Gold Growing in Trees in Australia

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2013) Researchers in Australia say they've found gold growing on trees, as a certain type of eucalyptus tree was found to absorb gold particles in the soil. Jen Markham explains.
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