Soil health is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in the food and farming industries. Federal legislators in the US are jumping on the soil health bandwagon; even consumers are gaining awareness of how dirt makes a difference in everything from nutritional content to water quality.
There are a number of agrifoodtech startups that are staking out their territory in the realm of soil health, like biocarbon producer Cool Planet, microbiome tester Trace Genomics [disclosure: a portfolio company of AFN‘s parent, AgFunder], and bioinformatics startup Biome Markers. The founders of software-focused fund Scaleworks also recently launched a new regenerative ag-focused VC fund called Soilworks.
Most people seem to agree that improving soil health is a worthwhile endeavor. But beyond the feel-good aspects of supporting the movement, one muddy question hangs in the balance: is there a business case for farmers to adopt soil health practices?