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Soil Health

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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.

Don McKenzieFeatured Profile in Soil Health

Don McKenzie
Pine County, MN
Read more

Soil Health Announcements

Hope in Soil image 90 seconds to discover a new “Hope in healthy soil”
Web ad points to promising global solutions under foot

To most people, soil is far from huggable.

But after watching a new, 90-second YouTube ad, the video’s producers hope viewers will embrace it with new-found respect and admiration. Because healthy soil, the ad suggests, could provide solutions to some of our planet’s biggest challenges.

Watch the 90-second ad. Share the link and share the hope.

Explore the Science of Soil Health

Buz Film for Soil healthResearcher’s ‘soil trek’ concludes in final season of The Science of Soil Health

When Dr. Buz Kloot began his soil trek for NRCS’ “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” campaign in September of 2013, he had no idea where his journey would ultimately lead. Hear from Buz, and get a sneak preview of what’s in store for Season Three, in this one-minute video trailer.

 


Soil Health Information

Niagra Falls infographic A Hedge against Drought: Why Healthy Soil is ‘Water in the Bank’

While most look to the sky for drought relief, an increasing number of farmers are looking to the soil. And for good reason: Healthy soils capture and store much more water – which can come in handy during dry spells.

So what’s the water-banking secret in healthy soil? “Organic matter and living organisms provide the foundation for soil to function properly, allowing it to take in, store and deliver water to plants, among many other benefits,” said NRCS’ Soil Health Division Director, Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune. Learn more. Download the info-graphic.

Fact Sheets

5 Questions graphicFact sheet: 5 questions landowners should ask their farmers about soil health

When farmers use soil health management systems, they’re building the soil AND they’re also building the land’s production potential over the long-term. But how do landowners know if their tenants are doing everything they need to do to make and keep their soil healthy? Barry Fisher, an Indiana farmer and nationally recognized soil health specialist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, recommends they ask their farming partner these five questions. Learn more in this fact sheet. (PDF, 2MB)