Soil Health Awareness - Unlock the Secrets in the Soil

Soil Title - Awareness

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Soil is a living and life-giving natural resource. 

As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. So much so that we believe improving the health of our Nation’s soil is one of the most important conservation endeavors of our time.

The resources on this soil health section of our site are designed to help visitors understand the basics and benefits of soil health—and to learn about Soil Health Management Systems from farmers who are using those systems.

Soil Health Across the Nation

NEW Soil Health map 2014

A growing number of America’s farmers are using soil health management systems to improve the health and function of their soil—and we’re working hand-in-hand with these producers through our technical and financial assistance programs and services to help ensure their success. Click here to use the interactive map and find out what’s happening in your state regarding soil health and learn more about some of the farmers who are unlocking the secrets in the soil.

David BrewerFeatured “Profile in Soil Health”

David Brewer, The Dalles, Oregon
Read more or watch the video.

Soil Health Radio Public Service Announcements

Coming soon to a radio station near you! Coming soon to a radio station near you!

We’ve just released two new radio public service ads titled “It’s Alive,” and “One Soil to Live,” which are designed to both entertain and educate farmers and others about the basics and benefits of soil health.

The 30- and 60-second spots are available for use by radio stations throughout the country. Additional radio spots will be released throughout 2015. Listen to “It’s Alive.” Listen to “One Soil to Live.”

Explore the Science of Soil Health

Beck Sys combo imageUsing ag technology in a systems approach
The key: “Be smarter than a weed or an insect,” top researcher says

Technology is a good thing, but according to Dr. Dwayne Beck, researcher and farm manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm in South Dakota, it’s just another tool—not the only tool in the arsenal when farming with a systems approach.  “Technology is there to augment good management, not to replace it,” Beck says."

As an example, Beck cites weed control. “If you put the same herbicide on the same weed, at the same time every year, it’s going to develop resistance,” he says. “The real key is to be smarter than a weed and an insect.” For Beck, it’s all about understanding how nature works and then farming in a system that considers those natural processes—and selecting the tools to manage that system wisely. Watch the three-minute video. It’s science you can really dig

Profiles in Soil Health

Grinnell Heritage Farm photo of family Iowa couple grows food, family, community on organic farm

Grinnell Heritage Farm, owned and operated by Andy and Melissa Dunham, has grown from three acres in 2007 to 22 acres today and produces more than 60 varieties of certified organic plants and vegetables. The Dunham’s understand that the health of their soil translates into healthier crops and a more resilient farm. A fifth-generation farmer on the Grinnell farmland, Andy has made improving the health of the farm’s soil a major priority. “Our philosophy is feed the soil, it will feed your plants, and then it will feed us,” he said. Read more or watch the three-minute video profile:Grinnell Heritage Farm.