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Soil Health Awareness

Unlock the Secrets in the Soil

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Unlock the Secrets in the SoilSoil 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.

Eric NelsonFeatured “Profile in Soil Health”

Eric Nelson, Pendleton, OR
Read more.
Watch the video.

Partnerships in Soil Health

An Oregon partnership Growing with soil health
An Oregon partnership

A growing number of Oregon farmers and conservationists are unlocking the secrets in the soil—and harvesting a wide range of on- and off-farm benefits. In this short video you’ll learn how and why this soil health partnership is growing across a wide range of Oregon’s diverse cropping systems and precipitation zones—and why there’s a new hope in healthy soil. Watch the four-minute video.

Explore the Science of Soil Health

LiebigVid imageIn a fix? Dynamic Cropping Systems result in improved yields, better soil health researchers say

Fixed crop rotations have many benefits, but is there an even better approach?

“Yes,” say scientists at USDA’s Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan, North Dakota. Based on years of research, farmers who harness the benefits of diversity through a Dynamic Cropping System, rather than a fixed rotation, fared better than those who farm using fixed rotations.

Find out why a Dynamic Cropping System (verses a fixed rotation system) may work better in the long-term for improving yields and soil health in the latest episode of NRCS’ The Science of Soil Health. Watch the three-minute video. It’s science you can really dig!

Profiles in Soil Health

Iowa organic grower overcomes challenges, harvests soil health benefits Iowa organic grower overcomes challenges, harvests soil health benefits

“Healthy crops and productive crops begins with the soil and the soil health and so if your soil is in poor shape and not very healthy, the crops being produced are probably not going to be as good as well—so we started working on it right away,” says Iowa organic farmer Roger Lansink. Here more from Mr. Lansink in this three-minute video.