Soils and Pulses, a Symbiosis for Life

Soils and Pulses, a Symbiosis for Life

by Nick Saltmarsh December 05, 2016

Every year on 5th December, World Soil Day celebrates the importance of soil in the natural world and in sustaining human wellbeing. In 2016, the UN International Year of Pulses, the day's theme is the relationship between soil and pulses. Pulses depend on soil to grow but also contribute to the health and vitality of soil, helping it to sustain life.

In 2016, the UN International Year of Pulses, the theme for World Soil Day is "Soils and Pulses: Symbiosis for Life". The day focuses on the contributions that both soil and pulses can make to the challenges of feeding the world and combating climate change, especially together.

"Soils and pulses embody a unique symbiosis that protects the environment, enhances productivity, contributes to adapting to climate change and provides fundamental nutrients to the soil and subsequent crops"
José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

All pulses are the fruit of nitrogen-fixing leguminous plants that benefit soil health by adding the fertility of nitrogen "fixed" from the atmosphere. Cereals grown after a pulse crop on average yield 1.5 more tonnes per hectare, equivalent to the effect of 100kg of nitrogen fertiliser without the heavy energy burden of fertiliser production. Pulses can also help to restore the health of degraded soil by encouraging carbon sequestration and cleaner water filtration.

The world is currently losing soil 10 to 20 times faster than it is replenished. Acidification, salinization, erosion and urbanisation are all contributing to the degradation and loss of soil. Pulses can help counter this worrying trend, while also helping to address hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and declining rural incomes.

To mark the 2016 World Soil Day's focus on soil and pulses, the FAO has published Soils and Pulses, Symbiosis for Life, a comprehensive report on the complementary importance of soil and pulses for food security and nutrition. Soils and Pulses, Symbiosis for Life is available to download free of charge direct from Hodmedod's website.

Soils and Pulses, a Symbiosis for Life



Nick Saltmarsh
Nick Saltmarsh

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Hodmeblog

Milling Offal - let’s eat more of it!
Milling Offal - let’s eat more of it!

by Josiah Meldrum August 31, 2020

We only sell stoneground whole grain flours, these are made by milling the whole cereal seed and not sifting the flour. We do this because we know that wholegrain flours taste better and are better for us. But we've started selling bran and semolina, the by-products of white flour production - Josiah explains why.

Read More

Wimpole Home Farm - progressive farming on an historic estate
Wimpole Home Farm - progressive farming on an historic estate

by Callum Weir July 28, 2020 1 Comment

The National Trust began converting its Home Farm at Wimpole Hall to organic production methods in 2009. Farm Manager Callum Weir explains how this aligns with Wimpole's long history - and sustainable future. The Home Farm at Wimpole grows rye, naked barley, carlin and blue peas for us.

Read More

Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter

by Nick Saltmarsh June 12, 2020

In common with people around the world we were moved and troubled by the killing of George Floyd and have been deeply affected by the subsequent outpouring of grief and outrage. We wish to express our solidarity for the black community and all those who rightly demand justice and an end to racism and oppression.

Read More