Substantiation of the causes of soil degradation and desertification in Ukraine
Purpose. To substantiate the main causes of land degradation and desertification in Ukraine in conditions of intensification of agricultural production and climate change; to carry out a comparative assessment and calculations of their balance. Methods. Monitoring studies, system and statistical analysis and their synthesis. Results. The volumes of crop production in Ukraine are highlighted. Limiting factors in agricultural production have been identified: global climate change, declining nutrient content in soils and decrease in the level of their fertility. The volumes of nutrient removal by plant products are analyzed. It is established that both the content of nutrients in crop products and the removal of nutrients from the soil loses more than 2 million tons of active substance of the main elements: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. On the basis of economic calculations it is proved that the volumes of mineral fertilizers are identical to the volumes of the removed nutrients with exported agricultural products: per 1 ha of sown area of the exported crops 116 kg of active substance, or N74P24K18, is removed with a crop yield. It is substantiated that the current level of exploitation of soil resources will lead to their degradation and reduction of natural fertility. Based on the analysis of agricultural production, it is argued that the question of the feasibility of increasing grain production in Ukraine to the level of 90 million tons is debatable due to the diversity of forms of management and different levels of resource provision in technology. After all, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the amount of about 56.5 billion UAH are annually exported from the country with agricultural products. Conclusions. With such a level of intensification of production and export of plant raw materials, compensation for the export of nutrients and prevention of soil degradation requires annual application against the background of N76P17K17 additional N74P24K18, which will amount to N150P41K35 per hectare of sown area. In addition to increasing the rates of mineral fertilizers, in order to preserve soil fertility it is necessary to apply organic fertilizers, introduce cultivation of perennial legumes and cover crops in crop rotation, use plant residues as fertilizers, lime soils etc.
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