Global
Agriculture

Soil Health

Healthy soils are the foundation of sustainable agriculture. They are essential for our food production, water and nutrient cycles, and global biodiversity. They enable climate smart farming and provide several of the resources needed by farmers. Healthy soils are incredibly biodiverse and play a key role in climate regulation as a sink and a source of greenhouse gases.

Soil health is strongly linked with ecosystem resilience

Soil health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. Over 33% of the world’s agricultural soils have been classified by scientific experts as degraded and it is projected that this figure could soar to 90% by 2050. Yields on these soils are lower, resilience to extreme weather conditions is significantly reduced, they store less water, and their degradation has contributed and contributes tremendously to the release of carbon into the atmosphere. As soil loses carbon, the source of energy for the biological activity within the soil is reduced as well.

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There is more life in one teaspoon of healthy soil than there have ever been humans on planet Earth.

It is possible to sequester carbon and thus increase soil fertility by practicing conservation agriculture, which includes practices such as conservation tillage (including reduced or no-till), implementing crop rotation and cover cropping. In addition, digital technologies can pinpoint field areas with high crop yield potential and those with little potential return of investment.

As soil fertility improves, so does soil biodiversity. Increased soil fertility can also allow for decreased external input use while maintaining yields.

Our approach is to support farmers in best leveraging the connection between soil fertility and farm resilience, and in implementing agricultural solutions that promote soil health.

Multi-stakeholder dialogue to further knowledge on soil health

We are working with soil science experts and accessing globally recognized standards (e.g., ISO) to measure the state of soil health in selected fields. We will then quantify the positive soil health impacts of new agronomic practices, as well as those of our technologies, in all sustainability trials we are conducting.

We are also pursuing open dialogue with agri-food system stakeholders to further shape knowledge on soil health. We have joined two global initiatives: the United Nations Food Systems Summit’s (UN FSS) Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH) and the Global Soil Health Programme. The former is a UN FSS Solution Cluster uniting numerous stakeholders to drive policy for and investment in the large-scale adoption of practices aimed at restoring soil health in productive landscapes. The latter is a precompetitive consortium consisting of several industry players, jointly led by the University of Glasgow and the University of Sydney, which have gathered to implement a global framework to enhance soil health and soil carbon sequestration.
 

Our offer to foster improvements in soil health

  • urease and nitrification inhibitors that help better distributing nitrogen fertilizers in the soil over time

  • herbicides that serve to reduce weed pressure to and facilitate conservation tillage

  • inoculants that increase nutrient use efficiency and root growth

  • BioSolutions that offer alternatives to conventional disease and pest management with biopesticides 

  • seeds designed to exhibit increased tolerance to diseases and pests, thereby decreasing the need for conventional crop protection products 

Take a look at concrete examples of our Soil Health initiatives

Learn more about our other sustainability commitments