SOIL HEALTH & LOSS PREVENTION
“Be it deep or shallow, red or black, sand or clay,
the soil is the link between the rock core
of the earth and the living things on its surface.
It is the foothold for the plants we grow.
Therein lies the main reason for our interest in soils.”
- Roy W. Simonson, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1957
Viewing soil as a living ecosystem reflects a fundamental shift
in the way we care for our nation's soils.
Soil isn’t an inert growing medium, but rather is teaming
with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that
are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem.
Soil is an ecosystem that can be managed to:
Provide nutrients for plant growth
Absorb and hold rainwater for use during dryer periods
Filter and buffer potential pollutants from leaving our fields
Serve as a firm foundation for agricultural activities
Provide habitat for soil microbes to flourish and diversify to keep the ecosystem running smoothly
Implementing cover cropping: which fixes nitrogen, boosts organic matter in soil, and prevents soil loss
Implementing no till practices to develop soil biology
Converting and/or reducing pesticide and nutrient applications to promote soil health & water quality in agricultural run off
Establishing perennial grasses to promote deep rooted structure within the soil