Category Archives: SHI in the News

Managing Soil Health in Potatoes-Spudsmart

Soil health can be seen as the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans. This definition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) speaks to the importance of managing the soil so it can continue to sustain life for future generations.

According to the USDA-NRCS, there are a number of agronomic measures farmers can follow to bolster soil health. They include:

  • Minimize soil disturbance
  • Keep soil covered
  • Maximize the duration of living roots
  • Maximize diversity of crops
  • Integrate livestock into the system

Read the Full Article at: http://spudsmart.com/managing-soil-health-potatoes/

Highlights from Soil Health Institute’s Annual Meeting, A Farmer’s Perspective

After a day of talk about soil health — the science, metrics, economics, policy and possible markets — an Alabama commodity farmer got to share some thoughts that reflect the business challenge for the average grain, oilseed or fiber producer.

V. Larkin Martin has served on boards of multiple farm and business organizations — including the Soil Health Institute, Farm Foundation and the Cotton Board and is a former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She manages her family’s seventh-generation, 7,000-acre farm of both owned and rented land in Alabama.

Martin explained that soil health was vital to her farm because of the dry conditions in the South, as well as farming on a high percentage of highly erodible land. Soil health is an imperative, yet most of her landlords might be just mildly interested in the topic. The buyers of the corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and cotton raised on the farm, not so much, she said.

To read the full article visit: https://www.agrimarketing.com/s/111281.

California, Maryland Conservation Policy Innovators to Speak During Soil Health Institute Conference

“RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C, Jun. 15 /CSRwire/ – California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross will update the nation’s soil health leaders on the California Healthy Soils Initiative during the Soil Health Institute’s (SHI) annual meeting, July 12-14, in St. Louis, Mo.  Dana Stein, Maryland House of Delegates, will brief leaders on his state’s Healthy Soils Program, which was approved by Governor Larry Hogan May 4.

“The two officials join 11 other innovators who will address critical soil health solutions during the conference, PoweringUP Our Soils.  Speakers will provide information on the Action Plan For Soil Health, which outlines collaboratively developed, actionable steps to analyze and improve the health of the nation’s soils and ecosystems, carbon sequestration, enhancing soil to suppress soil-borne diseases, and emerging sustainability requirements.”

Read the full article here: http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/40093-California-Maryland-Conservation-Policy-Innovators-to-Speak-During-Soil-Health-Institute-Conference

Agwired “General Mills Backing Soil Health Program”

“Several organizations have come together on a program to enhance farm sustainability through soil health. And they are very happy to announce additional backing from a major food manufacturer – General Mills. These organizations are working to advance soil health on America’s farms and ranches, paving the way for measurable economic and environmental gains for farmers, businesses and communities for generations to come.

To help ensure soil health, General Mills has made a three-year, $2 million commitment to The Nature Conservancy, Soil Health Institute and Soil Health Partnership to support the development of tools and resources for farmers, landowners, and supply chain leaders to achieve widespread adoption of soil health practices.”

Read the Full Article here: http://agwired.com/2017/04/26/general-mills-backing-soil-health-program/

Agwired “Soil Health Institute Announces Action Plan”

“The Soil Health Institute (SHI) today unveiled the “Enriching Soil, Enhancing Life” Soil Health Action Plan during a National Press Club event.

“This is an exciting time to be working in soil health,” said SHI president and CEO Wayne Honeycutt. “The action plan identifies critical goals and priorities. It helps identify key gaps in our knowledge and implementation…and we’ve identified specific actionable steps to achieve these things.”

Former USDA-NRCS chief Bruce Knight moderated the unveiling of the plan which was developed from four years of stakeholder input, beginning with the Soil Renaissance in 2013. Agricultural industry thought leaders, farmers, ranchers, scientists, government agency leaders, and non-governmental organizations provided input into the plan, which will be used to drive advancements in soil health.”

 

Read the Full Article here: http://agwired.com/2017/05/18/soil-health-institute-announces-action-plan/

General Mills Backing Soil Health Program

“Several organizations have come together on a program to enhance farm sustainability through soil health. And they are very happy to announce additional backing from a major food manufacturer – General Mills. These organizations are working to advance soil health on America’s farms and ranches, paving the way for measurable economic and environmental gains for farmers, businesses and communities for generations to come.

To help ensure soil health, General Mills has made a three-year, $2 million commitment to The Nature Conservancy, Soil Health Institute and Soil Health Partnership to support the development of tools and resources for farmers, landowners, and supply chain leaders to achieve widespread adoption of soil health practices.”

Read full article at: http://agwired.com/2017/04/26/general-mills-backing-soil-health-program/

Food and Conservation Groups Invest in Soil to Sustain Food Production

“MINNEAPOLIS, April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A national effort to enhance farm sustainability through soil health has additional backing from a major consumer foods manufacturer. Leaders from General Mills, The Nature Conservancy, the Soil Health Institute and the Soil Health Partnership announce a collaborative effort to advance soil health on America’s farms and ranches, paving the way for measurable economic and environmental gains for farmers, businesses and communities for generations to come.”

Read the full article at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/food-and-conservation-groups-invest-in-soil-to-sustain-food-production-300442878.html?tc=eml_cleartime

Farmers improve soil health, increase productivity

“The Soil Health Institute estimates farmers manage some 70 percent of the land in the United States and the individual decisions they make on a daily basis influences soil, air and water quality and other natural resources.

The Soil Health Institute was launched in 2013 in Morrisville, N.C. Wayne Honeycutt, president and CEO of the institute, said the mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. Conducting work that is economically viable and increases productivity for farmers and ranchers is vital, he said.

“Increasingly farmers are more innovative,” Honeycutt said during a forum on improving soil health at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park Feb. 22.”

 

Read the Full article: http://www.southeastfarmpress.com/cover-crops/farmers-improve-soil-health-increase-productivity

Economics of Soil Health: Key to Adoption

The current world population of approximately 7.4 billion is projected to increase to approximately 9.7 billion by 2050.  Growing enough food, while also sustaining and improving our natural resources, is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Recently, the concept of “soil health” has captured wide-ranging interest as a focal point for simultaneously achieving food production and environmental goals.  Peer-reviewed, scientific research has in fact shown that many of the same farming/ranching practices to improve soil health can also reduce nutrient losses to ground- and surface water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce erosion, increase yield, suppress plant diseases, and provide pollinator and other wildlife habitat.  However, we must recognize that farmers and ranchers are not only land stewards, but are also business men and women.  Therefore, the economics of soil health-promoting practices play a critical role in their adoption.

There are several aspects of economics that can influence land management decisions.

Read the full article at: http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/1809-economics-of-soil-health-key-to-adoption

The Progressive Farmer: Underground Movement – 1

“It’s not hard to find a soil-health or cover-crop field day. Someone usually has a spade showing off earthworms and their tunnel work. There’s generally a 6-foot-deep pit to look at the root systems, filtration and soil compaction.

What’s missing, though, is data about whether cover crops and other soil-health practices actually pay. The science of penciling out the economics of such practices is still in the early stages. However, groups are working to document what soil health means to a farmer’s bottom line.”

Read the Full Article Here: https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/crops/article/2017/02/27/economic-exploration-3