EXPRESS SYNTHESIS OF SOILS AND THE ISSUE OF LAND RESOURCES RECOVERY AND REPRODUCTION
"The lot of any truth
is to be first laughed at
and only then admitted.
Albert Schweitzer

"We civilizations,
that we are mortal
we too now know ".
Paul Valéry





In his preface to collections of environmental overviews State of the World for the years 1984 and 1989, Lester Brown, President of the Worldwatch Institute, pointed out that the issue of soil degeneration, a drop in their fertility and the loss of land resources is the second most important global environmental issue after that of nuclear war. The importance of this problem is due to the fact that the life and welfare of both natural and artificial surface biocoenoses as well as the very existence of humankind depends on the soil cover of our planet.

Nowadays, in spite of all scientific achievements, it is from soil that humankind gets 98% of what it needs for their bodies to live. That is why soils are the main assets of all countries.

The rate of losing soil resources as a result of the barbaric use of lands increases too rapidly. Land exhaustion rate has risen drastically over the past fifty years (more than 100 to 150 times compared to natural erosion). For instance, the USSR lost 22 million hectares of developed arable land in 1960-1985, i.e. over as little as twenty years. If this rate of soil degradation stays the same, all arable lands in Russia will exhaust in 50-60 years. Now there are about 1000 million hectares of arable land remaining in the world up to this day. Most of them are low-production lands which need expensive melioration. If we take into account the fact that each year 6 to 7 million hectares of land (or, according to some estimates, up to 15 million hectares) degrade irrevocably, the world's civilization may start to decline in 70-100 years or even earlier, in 20-30 years — for, on the one hand, nowadays there is 0.3 ha of arable land per person on average in the world, while in 10 years it will be 0.20-0.25 ha and in 20 years only 0.15-0.20 ha; on the other hand, over 2000 million ha have degraded over the whole history of humankind since the first agricultural civilizations of the late Stone Age until modern times, which is a lot more than the 1500 million hectares of arable land remaining in the whole world today. So it should be remembered that the world’s soil cover is not only a means of agricultural production, but it also performs global biochemical functions by supporting a balanced interaction between the biological and geological circulation of substances and energy flows in the earths surface. The colossal loss of the earths soil cover (over 50%) undoubtedly have already led to malfunctions in the whole biological system. As a result, humankind now faces the issue of the greenhouse effect and other climate issues which pose a threat to all people in the world. One of the first heralds of the impending environmental disaster humankind became aware of was the 1988 crisis which reduced the worlds reserve of grain to an unprecedented low figure which sufficed to satisfy the basic needs for 54 days only. Todays state of the soil cover suggests that all countries in the world must save their land resources that are still there.

An undoubted achievement of humankind is its knowledge of fertilizers, but the result of putting these knowledge into practice proved to be incredibly barbaric. In order to gain maximum “profitability”, Homo faber (man the creator) uses superfluous amounts of mineral and organic fertilizers.

This results in gross interference into natural soil formation processes and laws of soil evolution as well as normal functioning of the biosphere, which eventually launched geosystemic self-destruction of nature. In other words, the existing agricultural model eventually led to an ecological and economic impasse which is becoming a vicious circle. For instance, historically soil cultivation has gone through all stages from the minimum to the maximum and then reduced to the minimum again, i.e. from slight loosening to ploughing and then to subsurface and zero tillage. This is what can be called a vicious circle.

Another historic pattern of a vicious circle can be found in the use of mineral fertilizers. As recently as 80 or 90 years ago black soils yielded 2000-3000 kg/ha of cereals without any fertilizers. Then, in 1960-1985, the worldwide trend to come to use intensive agriculture led to extended use of mineral fertilizers, which entailed negative environmental and social consequences. Over the past few years, some foreign countries have expressed their interest in alternative agriculture which completely rejects the use of chemicals.

So, modern agriculture as it is now is basically an absurd and hopeless vicious circle which catalyzes the doom of the mankind. This is both obvious and incredible at the same time.

However, it should be pointed out that the degeneration of soils is a historically inevitable process caused by the evolution of the world civilization. This evolution saw great achievements of human intelligence, due to which the natural and artificial soil fertility potential still manages to meet the biological needs of the people living the world. The impending end of the world civilization caused by land exhaustion may be avoided only by studying soil formation processes.

Unfortunately modern agricultural soil studies which develops agricultural strategies has reached a methodological impasse which is quite natural as this sphere of knowledge is based on a number of hypotheses (the theory still being under development) of humus and soil forming which fail to fully represent the essence of these phenomena.

A rapid increase in demand for research of soil forming led to appropriate research and development works which resulted in discovering a previously unknown fundamental natural phenomenon of soil synthesis for various types of soils.

This set of new knowledge allowed us to develop four types of special first-generation compounds which accelerate natural soil formation process tens and hundreds of thousands of times. We designated these catalysts as soil formers (SF). It should be emphasized that the Earth's biosphere has various inexhaustible substrata to synthesize such soil formers from, many of these substrata being constantly renewed in a natural way as a result of biological and geochemical circulation of substances and energy.

Over a hundred variations of the four types of soil formers may be produced biotechnologically from various plant residues and other organic matters. The desire to obtain such a huge variety of soil formers is due to the necessity to meet the great variety of soil covers. For example, in Russia there are 93 soil provinces and about 10 000 different types of soils throughout the country. Types of soils vary greatly in all countries and continents. These data show how diverse production techniques must be to produce all the necessary variations of soil formers as well as the use of the latter. We managed to slove the main issues of this multifaceted problem.

The developed soil formers have the following unique properties:

firstly, they re-fertilize any soil in 20-30 days which is more than 100000 times faster than it would take the soil to re-fertilize on its own;

secondly, they increase the content of humus in a 30-60 cm layer of arable land by 1.0 to 1.5% or more compared to its initial level. This would make it possible to refuse from using any organic fertilizers for 30-50 years further on.

At the same time, the efficiency of mineral fertilizers substantially increases as they can be used in smaller amounts. The resulting agricultural products are safe for human health. All expenses on the production and use of soil formers start paying off within either a year or two or three years, their fertilizing action lasting for over 30 years;

thirdly, soil formers can be used to create soils with specific fertility level de novo.

Everything stated above is seen as something incredible, for V.V.Dokuchayev defined soil as a peculiar natural historic body. In other words, soil is a peculiar formation which is virtually inscrutable. That means that this body can by no means be produced artificially and is formed in a natural way only. Finally, this body is historical, that is, this body can appear only in hundreds and thousands of years. This is what modern science thinks of soils and soil formation.

Thus, soil studies and related sciences are under some kind of odd hypnosis as they may study soils ad libitum but may not by any means try to produce it. We have attempted to do the contrary and now we are able to produce this mysterious peculiar body in any quantities with our soil formers, that is, we can obtain it in an artificial way and almost instantaneously (15 to 20 days) compared to thousands of years of natural soil formation.

As we pursued our goal to develop soil formers in order to tackle the most serious issues of modern agriculture, we took into account the following:

firstly, soils are in the state of dynamic balance so any kind of agricultural, technical or other interference in this extremely heterogeneous system is eventually neutralized by some or other procedures of soil forming in accordance with the principles of soil homeostasis;

secondly, this principle of homeostasis always shows itself in particular soil conditions as a particular procedure of soil forming. Any breach or change in these procedures may result in either a drop in soil fertility and soil degeneration (this environmental boomerang has been always thee in agriculture since the late Stone Age) or transformation from one type of soil into another.

Moreover, at the initial stage of using soil formers the main practical goals should be the following:

change modern agriculture by its environmentalization by introducing a land resources recovery and reproduction system. That is, agriculture must do no harm to the environment and provide the consumer with "biologically clean" food;

provide necessary conditions to perform agricultural activities based on the maximum possible recycling and recirculation of all agricultural waste and recycling of various organic side products;

make the new system much more competitive due to the use of soil formers which make it possible to obtain the same or a larger amount of biological products which, however, are of higher quality and greater use compared to traditional ones.