Last year the Maryland Legislature passed the Healthy Soil Act inspired by the need to counter global warming. The bill specifically addressed the need to sequester carbon in the soil as well as to produce healthy soil and food. The key to sequestering carbon in soil is providing favorable conditions for the beneficial microorganisms responsible for converting plant sugars secreted by the plant roots into humus, which, if left undisturbed, permanently fixes carbon in the soil. Soil practices favoring carbon sequestration include organic and no-till farming, rotational grazing on grassland, and growing deep-rooted crops like industrial hemp.
One practice that hinders the development of Healthy Soils is the use of Roundup as a weed killer, used extensively world-wide with Monsanto Roundup-Ready GMO crops, such as soybeans and corn. Roundup contains the herbicide Glyphosate, which kills the beneficial microorganisms that fix carbon in soil. Glyphosate also ties up essential minerals in the soil and plants and even in people as it spreads into our environment.
To create Healthy Soil, the use of Roundup must be phased out or its impact neutralized by adding essential minerals to the soil. Because of the large amount of GMO soybeans and corn grown in Maryland, many farmers would be affected by these measures, leading to the ultimate banning of Roundup, already banned in many communities and countries. Therefore, these farmers would have to be assisted in converting to more healthy soil practices, which would make their farms more profitable.
Please join the Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis to discuss these issues and suggest ways to take action with speakers:
Michael Locklear – Independent researcher and consultant with 30 years experience in organic farming and soil; Native American; environmentalist; peace, health, and human rights activist.
Alexis Baden-Mayer – Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association
Alan Cohen – President of BioLogical Pest Management and a founder of Safe Grow Montgomery