Rebuild Topsoil Boost Production protect Water
There is a growing recognition for the need to regenerate and revitalize farmland soil. Healthy soils produce high quality, nutrient dense produce. Furthermore, soils filled with strong rooted, organic matter are able to hold larger capacities of moisture. Moisture retention is not only better for crops, but also means less erosion. When the land retains water, it acts as a giant sponge, filtering and absorbing nutrients and contaminants that would otherwise enter water sources. Thriving soils, with abundant organic matter, stack benefits for farmers and their neighbors.
Your local SWCD advocates for farming and grazing
practices that rebuild organic topsoil matter and restore
degraded soil biodiversity. Our goal is to see productive
farmlands, robust soils, and improved water quality.
Savvy agricultural professionals understand the significance
of organic matter, including living organisms in the soil. Age
old management practices like conservation tillage, cover
crops, crop rotation, composting, and rotational grazing
have come back into practice.
The reactionary farmer believes most soil-related problems
can be dealt with by using external inputs, aka… fertilizers,
irrigation, subsoilers, or pesticides. But problems like
nutrientdeficiencies, minimal moisture retention, compacted
soils, plant disease or insect infestations are often simply
symptoms of underlying problems. Problems that are literally
right beneath our feet... in the soil.
Exhaustion of organic soil matter, and a depletion of a
diverse population of soil organisms is often the source of
agricultural difficulties. Your local SWCD focuses on general
soil health management and the strength of natural biological
systems, which go a long way to preventing many
Over time, tillage reduces the pore spaces in soils; restricting infiltration and destroying biological glues. Limiting soil disturbance helps rebuild soil aggregates, pore spaces, soil glue, and organic matter. This is an essential step for long term soil productivity.
The harvest of crops, means the soil surface of a field is left bare until the next crop is planted. In the North, the next planting may be 5-7 months away. That's a long time for soil to be left bare. Cover crops will protect farmland during this vulnerable period.
Healthy plant roots are essential for good crop yields. Roots are good indicators of soil quality. Root systems help bind particles together. Furthermore, organic compounds are exuded by roots to provide nourishment for soil organisms.
Biodiversity is the driver of healthy soils. Soil biodiversity is the web of biological activity below-ground . It improves water retention, aids in resisting soil erosion, and helps plant nutrition, while controlling soil pests and disease.