Last month Ray Archuleta visited Sinaloa invited by Liventia and hosted by AARC, Veggies from Mexico, CAADES, and the Solve Awards. Ray was the inspiration for and participated in the Netflix documentary “Kiss the Ground” which already has over 10 million views and over 1 billion impressions worldwide. I highly recommend it. It is worth noting that the narration is done by the famous actor Woody Harrelson (who also participated in “Hunger Games” and “Venom”, among others).
Ray is a certified soil scientist and worked for more than 30 years at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with the U.S. government.
Ray argues with several studies, scientific tests, and experiments, that the solution for our crops, to produce more and better, to produce healthier; and even to reduce global warming and save our planet, is the care and conservation of our soils.
The bad use of soil, for decades, has increased the number of desert areas in the world, given that 40% of the water tah our planet transpires comes precisely from trees and plants, and not having them has considerably reduced our rainfall and increased global temperatures.
According to Ray, better soil is achieved mainly through “No-till farming”, that is, by not removing the soil where our crops are and even allowing grasses or plants to grow around them. This is to maintain the microorganisms, bacteria, and life that is under the soil, and that allows, according to him, better development of our crops, using fewer fertilizers and agrochemicals. In addition, these healthy soils full of life produce sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere and therefore reduce global warming.
Of course, following these practices is not easy. As Ray mentioned in his talks, it first requires a real change of mentality and beliefs. And of course, the teamwork of all growers in the regions where it is decided to use this type of practice.
There are risks, according to some growers, with “no-tillage” such as poor nutrition and more pests, which they argue, would produce a reduction in crop yields.
The reality is that in Sinaloa, we have been working for decades to improve our production system. We have been evolving, not only using better technology such as greenhouses, drip irrigation, and better varieties of vegetables and grains, but we have also been conscious of our environment and sustainability. We use more and more organic products in our crops, we put more and more organic matter in our soils and we make sure that what we produce is safe and always using the best practices of social responsibility.
Ray showed us with experiments, both in his presentations at the AARC and at the Science Center, with a rain simulator, the big differences between good soil and bad soil. He showed this in the levels of water infiltration that each has. Both samples were taken from right here in Sinaloa.
He also shared with us that the record for corn production in the United States is held by a grower who uses only this type of sustainable strategy and who achieved 27 tons per hectare last year.
Undoubtedly, these types of practices should not go unnoticed. We have the responsibility to continue producing more and better, seeking to increase the income of our growers, while promoting and practicing sustainability.
By: Georgius Gotsis – Veggies From Mexico CEO