Soil Health Awareness
Unlock the Secrets in the Soil
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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
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.
Videos en Español
Descubre los Secretos del suelo: A new Spanish-language video, produced by NRCS in Missouri, describes the basics and benefits of soil health and outlines the four basic principles needed to improve soil health. Click here to watch the 4-minute video. Need more soil health information in Spanish? Click here to view NRCS’ Spanish-language soil health publications.
Soil microbes: “Feed us, and we’ll feed you.”
In Season Two’s premier of The Science of Soil Health video series, Ohio State University’s Jim Hoorman explains the incredible symbiotic relationship between soil microbes and plants. “A typical plant will give up from 25-45 percent of its total carbohydrate reserves to feed those microbes,” he says.
In return, microbes provide nutrients and water to the plants. Hoorman says he tells farmers, “Microbes are just soluble bags of fertilizer.”
So what do plants know that we don’t? Watch this three-minute video and find out. It’s science you can really dig!
NRCS Profiles in soil health: Tennessee
Ten Tennessee farmers are featured in a series of videos discussing the economics, productivity improvements, water infiltration improvements, seeding methods and challenges of using cover crops to improve soil health on their farms. Click here to visit the Soil Health in Tennessee webpage and select from a range of practical soil health discussion topics.