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Soil Quality in Vermont Overview

Unlock the Secrets of the Soil Logo

In agricultural lands, improving soil health is accomplished by implementing Soil Health Management Systems that:

1. Disturb the soil as little as possible

2. Grow as many different species of plants as practical

3. Keep living plants in the soil as much as possible

4. Keep the soil covered year-round

Agricultural Soil Health Management Systems include practices such as no-till or reduced tillage, cover crops, advanced nutrient, pest and livestock management, crop rotations, and buffers where appropriate, used together as a system. Other practices can also help improve the soil health on Vermont's grasslands and in Vermont's forestlands. The goal is to achieve improved soil health and long-term productivity on land throughout Vermont and to reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic matter and improve water quality.

Vermont NRCS Focuses Resources on Soil Health

NRCS' own Ray 'the Soil Guy' appears on University of Vermont Extension's Across the Fence television program.

Across the Fence is the longest running daily farm and home television program in the country. Across the Fence is a 15 minute program produced by University of Vermont Extension. The program airs weekdays at 12:10 pm on WCAX TV, Channel 3.Ray the Soil Guy on University of Vermont Across the Fence TV




Vermont NRCS Purchases Rainfall Simulator System to Provide Soil Health Outreach

The rainfall simulator will travel around Vermont providing education on how rainfall reacts in different land use and management scenarios. Look for a demonstration at an event in your area!

Below: Employees receive training on rainfall simulator system at a soil quality training day during the summer of 2013.

Vermont Rainfall Simulator














See a rainfall simulator in action!

Click on the image below to watch The Science of Soil Health: Simulating Rainfall on Pastures

NRCS Staff Demonstrates Rainfall Simulator









Vermont Producer Profile in Soil Health

David Conant from Richmond Vermont is implementing practices for better soil and water qualityDavid Conant is a leader in the Vermont farm community for his ability to strike the balance of healthy land, valuable crops and productive dairy cows. The conant Riverside Farm is aptly named for its picturesque location in a valley along the Winooski River. While farming in the floodplain can be challenging, Conant retains a state of appreciation and responsibility for his land. Continue to Soil Health Profile...



Soil Quality Information and Resources

Download NRCS soil health educational brochures by clicking the links below to discover how healthy, productive soils benefit all of us.

Basics & Benefits

Dig a Little, Learn a Lot

Do Not Disturb

Discover the Cover

Healthy Soils Are: Covered All the Time

Healthy Soils Are: Well Structured

Healthy Soils Are: High in Organic Matter

Healthy Soils Are: Full of Life

Producer Checklist of of Soil Health Benefits

Visit the Soil Health Webpage to learn how managing for soil health allows producers to work with the land – not against – to reduce erosion, improve nutrient cycling, save money on inputs, and ultimately improve the resiliency of their working land.

Learn more about how to unlock your farm's potential by visiting the NRCS national website.