Conservation Can Boost Crop Production

Cotton grower, Eugen Pugh, (second from the right) with his family on the farm in Halls, Tennessee. ( Wrangler )

A new report, Seeding Soil’s Potential, summarizes the findings of more than 45 scientific papers or reviews, and highlights the relationship between conservation and crop production.

Evaluated by soil health advisors from NRCS, The Nature Conservancy and the Soil Health Institute, Seeding Soil’s Potential shows the economic and environmental benefits of conservation tillage, cover crops and crop rotation, according to Wrangler.

Approximately 12.5 million acres of cotton is grown in the U.S., and American growers consistently perform as the most efficient and environmentally responsible producers across the international spectrum. Seeding Soil’s Potential analysis of soil health practices addresses cost and soil issues consistently faced by cotton growers related to drought, flooding and market fluctuations.

“Wrangler believes that our supply chain does not begin with fabric or cotton. It begins with soil and the land itself,” said Roian Atwood, director of sustainability for Wrangler.

In 2017, Wrangler kicked off a soil-health pilot program that includes five growers in Halls, Tenn.; Athens, Ala.; Albany, Ga.; Conway, N.C.; and Big Spring, Texas.

“We’ve experienced the benefits of combining these three practices,” says Tennessee producer Eugene Pugh. “It’s allowing us to decrease our inputs while maintaining, and even improving, yield. And at the same time, our soil is improving with each passing season.”

See below for a short video on cotton farming and soil health.

See related: Heil Yeah: Farm Kid Is Cotton King Of The North