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“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