Healthy Living

NRCS launches healthy soils initiative

An initiative to highlight the benefits of healthy soils was launched in Ohio on Thursday. [PHOTOS]

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White was at the Dave Brandt Farm in Fairfield County Ohio for the kickoff of the national effort to promote healthy soils. Chief White tells Brownfield there are 4 keys to “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil.”

“One is you increase the diversity above the ground to increase the life diversity below the ground,” said White. “You want to keep the soil covered as much as possible, you want to have a living root in the soil and you really want to optimize the inputs you put in.”

Chief White described the soil health initiative as the second green revolution. Noting that the first green revolution was technology based, which lead to increased productivity. This one will be focused on the soil.

“And how we treat the soil and to sustain that as a living and life giving ecosystem,” White said.

Audio: Dave White, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service (5:00 mp3)

After years of continuous no-till and the use of cover crops on his farm, Dave Brandt is seeing firsthand the benefits of improved soil health.

“Before we were doing no-till the use of covers we were eroding about 30-35 ton per acre, today we’re eroding less than 100 pounds per acre,” said Brandt. “That means we keep all our nutrients that we’re applying to the soil where they belong.”

Audio: Dave Brandt, Farmer, Fairfield Co. Ohio (4:40 mp3)

More information about the “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” initiative is available at local NRCS offices.

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