Restoring Minerals in Our Soils
Reports of depleted soils and increasingly nutrient-deficient crops have made headlines. Scientists around the world are calling for improved management of soils as the effects of long-term misuse become more evident and the struggle to feed a growing population puts agriculture under increasing pressure. While a multi-faceted solution is needed, one technique seems to be gaining traction quickly: remineralization.
Remineralization – the practice of applying rock dust to soil in an effort to mimic nature’s fertilizing process – has become a trending topic in the effort to restore soils. As a result, rising interest around developing rock dust products to restore soils is being seen.
Restoring minerals in soil is an age-old concept that the Earth has been carrying out on its own since the beginning of time.
Rocks of different types are made up of varying minerals and combinations thereof. These minerals are liberated from rocks through weathering, naturally increasing the surrounding soil fertility over time.
The concept of speeding up the remineralization process through the application of rock dust to soils has long been understood. In 1894, a book by agricultural chemist Julius Hensel, entitled Bread from Stones: A New and Rational System of Land Fertilization and Physical Regeneration, was published. The publication detailed the concept of remineralization and although not well received at the time, has become a cornerstone of modern remineralization efforts.
Today, after generations of pulling minerals from soil without replacing them, soils around the world have become depleted and increasingly unable to meet the demands required by the growing population, spurring greater interest around the practice of remineralization.