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Environmental Science Part 2


Soil & Agriculture

Conserving soil is important to sustainability of Agriculture in the
What is soil?
Not dirt
Soil is often darker in top layer
o Organic matter on top
Comes from plants and other stuff/ life thats growing
on top

Soil starts with rock, weather and breaks it down

o Chemical Mechanical

25% water,
25 % air,
Organic matter 5%
o Organisms 10%,
o Roots 10%
o Input of organic matter from the top and works it way down

A Horizon
B Horizon
C Horizon
Eluviation vs illuviation Layer
Top Soil vs. Sub Soil
Texture of Soil
Soil texture is determined by particle size
Mixture triangle
Percentage of silt clay sand
Sandy Soil
o Big particle high porosity
o Loose
o Water move through fast
o Particle size of a given size
o Type of mineral, group of minerals, family
o Slippery wet Wyoming
o How easy water moves through

o Measure of how much pore space

Soil Life
o One teaspoon of soil contains more microorganisms than there are
people in the earth
o Bacteria fix nitrogen-turn it into forms of nitrogen (ammonium)
that plants can use
o Two types of bacteria
Special smell
o Fungi include molds
Elaborate root system below
Occasionally sprout top part
o Legumes are special plants that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria
Soy beans, nuts, clover, alfalfa,
o Coating soil with fungi to give it what it needs to grow
Landform regions of Iowa
Northeast Iowa/ Paleozoic plains
o Sedimentary rock, limestone
North East-Flat
o Glacial movement
Glaciers maximum
Glacial extent in North America
o Des moines loes

Prairie and wetlands

Tile lines
o do not recharge aquifers
Water full of ground up stuff
Loess all over the world
Played major part all around the world
LoessAngular shap
Shatter shape, rock
After glaciers left
What grew on the landscape
Tall grass-mixed prarie- shortgrass prarie
Prairie plants
Blue grass-small roots
Gully erosion
Erosion is a major part of
Rills channel forms turns into a gully

Movie-King Corn
Shorter life span than parents
Steve Maco
o Diet will find its way into your hair
o Influence of corn and high fructose corn syrup
Greene Iowa-1,015 population
Melvin W. Elis
o Made tractors
Ricardo Iowa State
o Iowa ideal place to grow corn
o Corn=giant grass
Migrated from south Mexico found home in Iowa
o Different kinds eventually turned to one kindo Yellow
o Dominated whole region
Government program
o More corn you grow the more you get
o $28/acres
o Ammonia Fertilizer
Farm houses
o Familys going down in numbers
o 5 tons of food from one acre of corn
Corn has replaced grass for principle feed for cattle

90% grain
livestocks intakes 70% of antibiotics in US
same waste as 1.7 million people
its Economic
65% of ground beef calories by fat
o Subsidize happy meals but not healthy ones
Dr. Butz
o Paid to not produce
o He stopped that program
o We have cheap food spend money on something else
o Less income on food than any other generation in history
o Abundance brings too much---fat

Air pollution

Nitrogen Oxides
Phosphates, ammonia, ammonium nitrates
Contamination of groundwater
Herbicides / pesticides
liberty link
o type of corn
o kills everything except whats programed to resist it
Problems to pesticides
Monocultures reduce biodiversity and increase susceptibility to
Pollinators crucial to farming process
o Bees
o Butterflies
o Flies
o Beatles
o Mammals can pollinate
Reading: ecological services
Colony collapse disorder
Not native
2 species of American bumblebee verge of extinction
Genetically Modified Foods
Recombination of DNA biotechnology
o Is used to produce GMO
o No imminent health risk
With this approval comes millions of more pounds of toxic herbicides
dumped onto our land.
Andrew Kimbrell
Meat production increase
9.4 table