World Soil Day celebrates the importance of soil as one of our most valuable esources. To mark the occasion, the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) has released an educational and fun white board video, “Farmers to the Rescue: How Healthy Soil Can Save the Planet.”
“Soil health is the next frontier in agricultural sustainability,” says Nick Goeser, SHP director. “Restoring organic matter through practices like growing cover crops will help soil sequester more carbon while making it more resistant to drought, and more resilient to floods. These are important goals worldwide as the population grows.”
With more than 65 farm sites already enrolled in nine Midwestern states, the SHP is the leader in field-scale testing and measuring of management practices that improve soil health. These practices include:
- Growing cover crops to prevent erosion and nutrient losses,
- Implementing conservation tillage like no-till or strip-till, and
- Using advanced, science-based nutrient management techniques to reduce nutrient loss.
The program’s goal is to quantify the benefits of these practices from an economic standpoint, in addition to positive environmental benefits they provide, like protecting water resources.
“By changing some practices, farmers hold the power to rebuild organic matter in their soil,” the white board video says. “This helps the planet by improving crops and removing excess carbon from the atmosphere….More organic matter in the soil means better soils for farming, healthy crops, and protecting the environment.”