Reina P. Cunningham
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), together with dozens of agricultural and environmental partners, has launched a soil health campaign to help Kentucky farmers Unlock the Secrets of the Soil.
Although farmers account for less than 2 percent of the United States population, they are putting food on the table for 330 million Americans and many more people around the globe, according to the NRCS.
The estimated world population growth expectation of nine billion by 2050 has NRCS addressing the question of how farmers can increase agricultural productivity without adversely affecting the environment.
NRCS says improving the health of soil is the answer.
An estimated 5 to 20 percent of American farmers have already adopted soil health management systems. According to the NRCS, these innovators hold a key to 21st century sustainable food production.
Through the Unlock the Secrets of the Soil campaign, farmers can get educated on the basics and benefits of soil health. They can also find out ways to get the help needed in order to implement soil health management practices on their farms.
Some positive outcomes for farmers managing for soil health is to keep productivity high in order to continue to feed the world. Farmers can also reduce the use of fossil fuels and optimize other inputs which in turn improves efficiencies and saves money.
Soil health management can also build organic matter, which absorbs 18 times its weight in water, thus protecting crops against drought in dry years while also reducing downstream flooding in wet years.
Carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) is removed from the atmosphere to build solid carbon when farmers implement soil health management.
Streams and groundwater are cleaned as healthy soils absorb runoff and breakdown pollutants.
For more information visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/soils/health/ to obtain fact sheets, images, soil health management systems and subject matter sepcialists or contact Christy Morgan, Public Affairs Specialist, at 859-224-7363 .
You can reach Reina Parker Cunningham at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.