Farmers: Dig into Soil Health on World Soil Day

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Soil Health Partnership celebrates Dec. 5 event with the launch of an educational and fun White Board video.

The Soil Health Partnership has released an educational and fun white board video, “Farmers to the Rescue: How Healthy Soil Can Save the Planet."

The Soil Health Partnership 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. 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.

The Soil Health Partnership commemorates World Soil Day on Dec. 5 by encouraging farmers to reflect on steps they can take to make their land healthier. World Soil Day celebrates the importance of soil as one of our most vital resources.

To mark the occasion, the 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,” said 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.”

The World Soil Day campaign aims to connect people with soils and raise awareness on their critical importance in our lives. In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences made a resolution proposing the 5th of December as World Soil Day to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human wellbeing.

About the Soil Health Partnership
The Soil Health Partnership brings together diverse partner organizations including commodity groups, federal agencies, universities and environmental groups to work toward the common goal of improving soil health. Over a period of at least 10 years, the SHP will identify, test and measure farm management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers. We believe the results of this farmer-led project will provide a platform for sharing peer-to-peer information, and lend resources to benefit agricultural sustainability and profitability. An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, we provide the spark for greater understanding and implementation of agricultural best practices to protect resources for future generations. For more, visit soilhealthpartnership.org.

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Jenna Higgins Rose
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