New initiative focuses on critical role of soil health

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Farm Foundation, NFP and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation announced the launch of a new initiative designed to bring attention to the critical role of soil health in the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. This announcement is being made to mark World Soil Day on Dec. 5.

Through the leadership of the two foundations, the Soil Health Initiative will bring recognition to the central role of soil in productive agricultural systems, and establish a strategic plan to address soil health issues.

"Soil health is a key factor in any agricultural production system, whether conventional or organic, yet soil is too often ignored or overshadowed by other factors," says Noble Foundation President Bill Buckner. "It is critical that producers-the people working directly with the land-be in close communication with researchers and policymakers to ensure that their challenges are recognized and our soils are protected and sustained for future generations."

The Initiative evolved from discussions by 25 leaders representing conventional and organic agriculture, science and research, land managers and policymakers about the best tools to measure, promote and research soil health. This core group will be expanded to five working groups that will: find consensus on a definition of "soil health" to bring consistency and continuity to related work; define a standard for measuring soil health; identify opportunities for specific research work; prepare a white paper outlining the current state of soil health; and develop a strategic plan to broadly advance work on soil health issues.

The first working group completed its work, reaching consensus on a definition of soil health: The continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans.

"This definition is used by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service," explained Working Group Chair David Lindbo, Ph.D., of North Carolina State University and President of the Soil Science Society of America. "It sounds simple, but establishing a basis of understanding of what soil health concerns is the first step to move forward with universal acceptance of soil health as a critical need."

The working group identifying a standard of measure for soil health is expected to complete its work on or before Feb. 1, 2014. A strategic plan for addressing soil health issues is expected to be completed on or before April 2, 2014. Once this foundational work is completed, deadlines will be established for the remaining work groups.

"We need to recognize that soil is a common denominator for productive agricultural systems," said Farm Foundation President Neil Conklin. "With a foundational base of defining soil health and standard measurements for soil health, we can move forward to build research plans and discuss potential public policies that enhance soil health moving forward."

The issue of soil health became prominent in discussions of A Dialogue on Food and Agriculture in the 21st Century, a Farm Foundation initiative to promote discussions on the challenges to be addressed if agriculture is to feed 9 billion people in 2050 while protecting and maintaining natural resources. Buckner, a Dialogue Project Steering Committee member, was part of wide-ranging discussions on the role of science and technology in agriculture and the food system, which quickly focused on soil health. Those discussions were the seed for the Soil Health Initiative. Soil health has been a focus of the Noble Foundation since its inception in 1945.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (2) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

Richard Hartmann    
Portland, Oregon  |  December, 12, 2013 at 05:42 PM

Thank for this article. Now person's in our trade (fertilizers) will pay attention to our discovery/invention colloidal carbon with every drop of fertilizer. You can see this in this link. Click here to view Richard.

Richard    
Portland, Oregon  |  December, 12, 2013 at 05:56 PM

Now maybe agents in our trade (fertilizers) will pay attention to our recent discovery/invention of colloidal carbon with every drop of common fertilizers. Called Carb-N - We would like some comments for the editor or those within article. "https://www.dropbox.com/s/kzausuy8f2h03cu/BULLETIN-4-EARTHWORMS.pdf"


Demco 1400 Grain Cart

Demco offers a 1400 bushel grain cart to provide unmatched efficiency and operator convenience. In addition to the large 1400 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form