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Soil Health

Voluntary Conservation Works


Soil Health - Unlock the Secrets in the SoilSoil health is defined as how well soil does what we want it to do. Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. More farmers are managing for soil health by disturbing their soil as little as possible, growing as many different species of plants as practical, keeping living plants in the soil as often as possible, and keeping the soil covered constantly.

What Soil Does
The Hope In Healthy Soil
What Does Soil Health Mean to New York?
Soil Health Important to Farmers, the Environment and Society
The Time is Right to Talk About Soil Health for Two Very Important Reasons

Economic Case Studies

Economic Case Study - John Kemmeren Farm, Angel Rose DairyJohn Kemmeren Farm
Angel Rose Dairy

The Kemmerens’ focus on soil health and forage production has paid off in many ways. In addition to realizing a 100 percent return on investment by adopting soil health practices, they have won multiple awards for high quality forage and John has become a sought after speaker at various soil health related events.  

Economic Case Study - Farmer Profile: John Kemmeren (PDF; 1.4 MB)

Econimic Case Study - Dave Magos FarmDave Magos Farm

The switch to no-till and cover cropping has led to a five percent increase in Dave's corn silage yields while at the same time, significantly reducing his labor and machinery cost.

Economic Case Study - Farmer Profile: Dave Magos (PDF; 1.5 MB)


Soil Health Workshops and Field Days

Soil Health Workshop - Sheffer's Grassland DairyGrazing and Soil Health Workshop

Over 30 farmers and agricultural service professional gathered at Sheffer’s Grassland Dairy in Hoosick, New York to learn about the importance of soil health and incorporating grazing management into grazing systems for dairy cows.



Hudson Valley’s Soil Health Field Day

Soil health is a hot topic among many agricultural service providers, but there is a great need for increased education on the subject for new farmers. This was the impetus for a collaborative effort to co-host a Hudson Valley Soil Health Field Day in August.


Paul Salon, NRCS, provides a cover crop demonstration at the Eckart farm

Farmer Workshops Emphasize the Importance of Soil Health

The importance of soil health is being echoed around New York and the nation as farmer soil health advocates speak out about the benefits they have seen due to changes they made to their farm and soil management systems.


Soil Health and Pasture Walk Hand in HandSoil Health and Pasture Walk Hand in Hand

The moon and stars must have been in perfect alignment as the weather conditions during the May 27th pasture walk in Oneida County were most enjoyable. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County’s first pasture walk of 2016 was graciously hosted by Kevin Angel and family at their rotational dairy farm located in the western part of the county in Durhamville.

Unlock the Secrets in the Soil
Learn how to Unlock the Secrets in your soil.

National NRCS Soil Health webpage

Five Steps to AssistanceLearn how to get started with NRCS.



Service Center Locator

If you want to learn how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forest land, please contact your local NRCS Service Center.