ATSWCD and USDA-NRCS joins other organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to celebrate World Soil Day on Thursday, December 5 and throughout the year.

 

"Stop Soil Erosion, Save Our Future" is designed to promote awareness on the importance of sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the increasing challenges in soil management, and raise the profile of healthy soil by encouraging governments, organizations, communities and individuals around the world to engage in proactively improving soil health. 

Learn how landowners can stop soil erosion and improve soil health

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Healthy Soils are Full of Life
The Results of Good Soil Health
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Cargill, Soil Health Institute to Study Economics of Soil Health

Management practices that improve soil health can be good for the farm and the environment, but farmers need information on economics when deciding whether to adopt these practices. To address this critical issue, Cargill and the Soil Health Institute have announced a new partnership to assess, demonstrate and communicate the economics of soil health management systems across North America.

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  • American farmers and ranchers play a large part in conserving and maintaining healthy soils on their land.

  • Soil erosion is one of the greatest challenges for sustainable soil management.

    • According to some reports, between the late 1800s and 1930 more than one hundred million acres of land in the Plains were plowed. Shortly after, soil erosion was recognized as a national epidemic and a national emergency.

    • NRCS was born during the Dust Bowl out of the need to stop soil erosion. Since then, programs have expanded to conserve and improve many natural resources. 

  • NRCS is working hand-in-hand with producers to improve the health and function of their soil.

  • Many producers have adapted soil health principles and systems including no-till, cover cropping and diverse rotations in order to increase their soil’s organic matter and improve microbial activity.

  • As a result, farmers are sequestering more carbon, increasing water infiltration, improving wildlife and pollinator habitat – all while harvesting better profits and often better yields.

  • Producers who want to improve soil health on their operation should reach out to their local NRCS field office.

  • Our employees can help you develop a conservation plan that is tailored to your operation.

  • NRCS provides technical and financial assistance programs and services to help producers.

  • Soil Facts:

    • Earthworm populations consume 2 tons of dry matter per acre per year, partly digesting and mixing it to form healthy soil.

  • Healthy soil is key to feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

  • Healthy soil is made of about 45 percent minerals, 25 percent water, 5 percent organic matter and 25 percent air.

  • One teaspoon of healthy soil contains 100 million-1 billion individual bacteria.

We are pleased to announce the premiere of Cotton & Covers, a Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton video series. The series follows three Southeastern cotton producers as they discuss their individual journeys to build profitable soil health management systems on their farms. Each producer is a mentor to other farmers in our soil health training program, working with neighbors to expand the knowledge of soil health systems and to overcome barriers to adoption.
 
The series features Sonny Price from Dillon, South Carolina; Zeb Winslow from Scotland Neck, North Carolina; and Burton Heatwole from Millen, Georgia. The cotton producers discuss why they decided to explore soil health promoting practices and the benefits they’ve discovered as they experimented with reduced tillage, increased cover crop species diversity, and livestock grazing.

New videos will be made available weekly through September on the Soil Health Training webpage. We invite you to watch the first episode today:

 

The video series is part of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton project, which provides farmer-focused education and training events delivered by Soil Health Institute scientists, partnering with local soil health technical specialists and farmer mentors who have implemented successful soil health management systems. The project aims to increase the adoption of soil health management systems among cotton producers while documenting environmental and economic benefits.
 
Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton is supported through the generosity of the Wrangler® brand, the VF Corporation Foundation and the Walmart Foundation. For more information about the project and access to the webinar series, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/.

 
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Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts

1497 Country View Lane     Temple, TX 76504-8806     254-778-8741

The Results of Good Soil Health

Good management practices result in improved soil and healthy crops