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Rocks and Minerals
Resources from the Land



Resources from the Land
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.14

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bedrock, chloride, desertification, erosion, mined, talc, provided, material, graphite, recreation, drier, sodium, natural, provides, drying, gypsum


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Resources from the Land
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Caption: Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, April 18, 1935.
 
2     "Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above. Don't fence me in." Have you ever heard that song? It describes a love for open spaces, mountains, and trees. Our land is an important natural resource.
 
3     Land provides a place for humans and animals to live. It also provides places to grow crops, trees, and grasslands. These are important resources for living things. What other natural resources do we get from the land? Let's start from the top.
 
4     At the surface of the land is topsoil. Topsoil contains minerals and nutrients that plants need to grow. Rich topsoil is used by farmers to produce food for us to eat. It can take up to 1000 years to form a few inches of topsoil. But those few inches can be lost in a matter of minutes. Without plant cover, topsoil can be eroded by wind or water very quickly.
 
5     Farmers need to be careful when plowing the land. Soil should not be left bare. The Earth loses much of its topsoil each year. It is eroded faster than it can be replaced. The result is drier and less fertile soil. In some areas, erosion is causing desertification. The land is drying up and becoming like a desert. Soil is needed to feed a growing population. Many areas have plans to help conserve the soil we depend on for so much.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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