Soil Health: New Opportunities to Innovate in Crop Protection Research and Development

Atwood et al, 2022

The paper discusses the importance of soil health in crop protection research and development. The authors argue that soil health should be given greater attention in crop protection research as healthy soils can lead to healthier crops and better yields.

It highlights the challenges faced by farmers in maintaining soil health, such as soil erosion, loss of organic matter, and soil compaction. These challenges can lead to reduced soil fertility, nutrient deficiency, and reduced crop yields. The authors suggest that addressing these challenges requires an integrated approach that combines soil management practices, such as conservation tillage and crop rotation, with crop protection strategies.

It also discusses the potential of new technologies to improve soil health and crop protection. For example, precision agriculture technologies can help farmers optimize their use of fertilisers and pesticides, reducing the risk of overuse and environmental harm. Similarly, genetic engineering and biotechnology can help develop crops that are more resistant to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.

The authors argue that innovation in crop protection research and development must prioritize sustainable practices that promote soil health and biodiversity. They suggest that a more holistic approach to crop protection that incorporates soil health can help improve the sustainability of agriculture and reduce the environmental impact of farming.

In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of soil health in crop protection research and development. The authors argue that by prioritizing sustainable practices that promote soil health and biodiversity, farmers can improve crop yields, reduce the use of chemical pesticides, and contribute to a more sustainable future for agriculture. They call for greater collaboration and investment in research and development to develop innovative solutions that address the challenges facing soil health and crop protection. It is an interesting read and worth 20 minutes of your time.

Paper Abstract

Soil health-based agricultural management practices are widely promoted to reduce erosion, increase nutrient use efficiency, improve soil structure, and sustain or increase yields. Pest and disease management are less frequently considered as components of a soil health management system. We present a framework for how the crop protection industry can advance soil health by developing systems of crop protection innovation that simultaneously target soil health outcomes, either through direct impact on soil or by enabling practices that promote soil health outcomes. Such an approach could lead to cross-sectoral, integrated agricultural solutions that achieve agronomic, environmental, and economic goals.

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