Soil Health Briefing Digs into On-Farm Conservation

Addressing Soil Health Challenges and Opportunities

From the microorganisms down in it to the food that grows from it, farmers care deeply about the health of their soil. Cultivating and maintaining healthy soils on working lands has benefits far beyond crop production, however. The healthier the soil, the less a farmer has to use chemical inputs, which is both a cost saving for the farmer and good for the environment. Healthier soils also better retain moisture, which increases resilience to drought and means that nutrients stay in the ground and don’t leach into the water supply.

Congress is working now to develop our next farm bill, a massive package of legislation that will include policies that either help or hinder the promotion of conservation practices that build and maintain soil health. As the programs and policies of the farm bill are debated, groups like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) are working to promote the benefits of conservation systems and highlight how the next farm bill can help more farmers increase their sustainability.

This week, NSAC partnered with the Soil Health InstituteGeneral Mills, and the Land Stewardship Project (an NSAC member) to host a congressional briefing on the benefits of soil health and the critical role the farm bill plays in increasing our commitment to proven conservation practices. The briefing was hosted in conjunction with Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN), a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee who has been a long-time champion for conservation and soil health in the farm bill.

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Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of the Soil Health Institute, joined leaders from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, General Mills, the Land Stewardship Project, Congressional teams and farmers to discuss national soil health challenges and opportunities on farms and ranches.