One harmful practice is removing the vegetation that helps to hold soil in place. Sometimes just walking or riding your bike over the same place will kill the grass that normally grows there. Land is also deliberately cleared or deforested for wood. The loose soils then may be carried away by wind or running water.
Soil is only a renewable resource if it is carefully managed. There are many practices that can protect and preserve soil resources.
Adding organic material to the soil in the form of plant or animal waste, such as compost or manure, increases the fertility of the soil and improves its ability to hold on to water and nutrients. Inorganic fertilizer can also temporarily increase the fertility of a soil and may be less expensive or time consuming, but it does not provide the same long-term improvements as organic materials.
Preventing Soil Erosion:
Soil is a natural resource that is vitally important for sustaining natural habitats and for growing food. Although soil is a renewable resource, it is renewed slowly, taking hundreds or thousands of years for a good fertile soil to develop.
Most of the best land for farming is already being cultivated. With human populations continuing to grow, it is extremely important to protect our soil resources. Agricultural practices such as rotating crops, alternating the types of crops planted in each row, and planting nutrient-rich cover crops all help to keep soil more fertile as it is used season after season. Planting trees as windbreaks, plowing along contours of the field, or building terraces into steeper slopes will all help to hold soil in place. No-till or low-tillage farming helps to keep soil in place by disturbing the ground as little as possible when planting.
Soil is a renewable resource, but sometimes it is lost faster than it can be replaced.
Soil resources must be preserved because there are many more people on Earth who need to eat and a great deal of topsoil has already been lost in many regions.
There are many techniques available for preventing soil loss in agriculture, grazing, logging, mining, and recreation.
Soil conservation is extremely important. Some helpful practices include adding organic material, terracing, and no-till farming.