Healthy soil is not soil that is being tilled, according to Doug Peterson, Missouri state soil conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“Anything that includes tillage is not going to be sustainable long-term,” Peterson is quoted as saying by Benjamin Herrold in a Missouri Farmer Today article.

Peterson also contends that fields, at least those in Missouri, have only got 50 to 60 years of soil left for growing crops unless farmers and their third-party advisors make better decisions about reducing erosion and rebuilding soil as fast as possible.

Peterson says farmers are coming to realize they need to manage soil health year-round. He provides many more opinions in the article written by Herrold.

Talk and writing about soil health, more than usual, is partly because the United Nations declared this to be the International Year of Soils.

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