Rattan Lal, distinguished university professor of soil science at The Ohio State University, speaks at an IFPRI policy seminar, "Economics of Land Degradation and Improvement," on Dec. 3, 2015. IFPRI / Milo Mitchell The demands of feeding a planet rapidly careening toward 10 billion people, coupled with the environmental degradation that industry and development has caused, has left much of the world’s soil depleted of nutrients. A professor who studies soil science and is looking to improve the dirt for farmers around the world has been awarded the 2020 World Food Prize for his work, as NPR reported. Rattan Lal , a professor of soil science and the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University, has pioneered farming techniques that prevent soil from losing vital nutrients and even put nutrients back into soil, according to NPR. That work is incredibly important, since data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations show that about a third of the planet’s soil is "moderately to highly degraded." When the nutrients disappear, crop yields are lower and less healthy. That’s troublesome for the growing demands placed on farmers. As NPR reported. Lal believes sustainable […]

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