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Healthy Soils: Implementing the Maryland Healthy Soils Program
November 18, 2017 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pmFree
Please join the Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis to discuss the implementation of the Healthy Soil Program. Speakers will be Lori Arguelles, Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation; Susan Payne, Agricultural Certainty Program Coordinator with the Maryland Department of Agriculture; and Michael Locklear, independent researcher and consultant with 30 years experience in organic farming and soils. All were involved in the development of the Healthy Soil Act sponsored by Delegate Dana Stein. Full implementation of the Act is key to its success. This meeting will help you understand the Act and help overcome any obstacles to the Act’s full implementation.
The Healthy Soil Act (HB 1063), a landmark bill, was enacted by the Maryland State Legislature early this year and is now being implemented. Its purpose is to promote agricultural practices which not only result in more abundant and healthier food but also increase carbon sequestration in soil to counter global warming. If fully implemented and other states and countries adopt similar practices (France already has), enough carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere to reverse global warming.
The key to healthy soil is promoting the growth of soil microorganisms which develop a symbiotic relationship with plants, whereby plants provide sugar produced by photosynthesis to the microorganisms through their roots and the microorganisms, in turn, release nutrients to the plants. The microorganisms also convert some of the plant sugars to humus, fixing carbon permanently in the soil if undisturbed. Deep rooted plants, like tall grasses, are most efficient in fixing carbon.