A professor who studies soil science and is looking to improve the dirt for farmers around the world has been awarded the 2020 World Food Prize for his work. Rattan Lal, a professor of soil science and the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University, has pioneered farming techniques that prevent soil from losing vital nutrients and even put nutrients back into soil. That work is incredibly important, since data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations show that about a third of the planet’s soil is “moderately to highly degraded.” When the nutrients disappear, crop yields are lower and less healthy. That’s troublesome for the growing demands placed on farmers. In addition to improving soil, Lal’s work showed how plants could pull carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil to prevent it from combining with oxygen and creating carbon dioxide, which adds more greenhouse gases to an already warming planet.
By Jordan Davidson. EcoWatch. June 23, 2020.