Committee Chair Rob Black says this is the second study on this topic, the last study was done in 1984.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry launched a new study into soil health in Canada this week.

Black notes in 1984 that report was groundbreaking but things have changed in 38 years.

"We're now looking at the health of soils from a variety of perspectives. We now want to think about carbon sequestration. We now want to think about climate change and mitigation strategies. So, I'm hopeful that this study that may take a year, or two to complete will work towards those goals."

He says the timing is right to undertake a new study, the previous study is the most requested Senate study ever in the history of the Senate's 155 years.

The first round of Agriculture and Forestry committee hearings on the topic took place on Thursday and involved Don Lobb, a farmer from Ontario, and Cedric McLeod, the Executive Director of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association.

Black says they acknowledged there has been work done in the past, but there's a lot of work that still needs to be done

"If we really expect to make something of this report, we're going to have to look at the issue of soil health in Canada from a regional perspective, from a variety of lenses. You know, from soil health, from the academic side, from the farmer side, and from food security. You can't forget that its the Agriculture and Forestry Committee so we need to be mindful to engage witnesses that will talk to us about the health of forest soils as well."

Black says over the next few weeks the committee will hear from more witnesses.

Individuals or farm groups interested in making presentations to the committee should reach out to the Clerk of the Senate.