May 20, 2015
A new video released by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is shining a light on how farmers and ranchers manage soil health to help the planet. The 90-second campaign is titled, “Hope in Healthy Soil” and suggests that improving soil health can solve many global issues.
Although soil health isn’t as trendy as discussing animal welfare, water usage in a drought or reducing our carbon footprint, the video’s producers hope that viewers will have a new-found respect and admiration for how beneficial a healthy soil can be to the planet.
The video, which can be viewed on YouTube, is part of USDA’s “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” campaign.
Photo Credit: USDA
“By farming using soil health principles and practices like no-till, cover cropping and diverse rotations, farmers are actually increasing organic matter in their soil, increasing microbial activity, sequestering more carbon, improving wildlife and pollinator habitat—all while harvesting better profits and often better yields,” says Ron Nichols, the campaign’s communications coordinator. “Off the farm, these practices are improving water and air quality, too.”
While the video has been widely viewed by consumers, the campaign is aimed to educate and assist farmers and landowners with the information they need to be better stewards of the soil. It serves as a reminder for farmers to use best management practices whether planting crops or grazing livestock. The video will also air nationwide on public television later this summer.
According to a news release, USDA says, “Ultimately, the goal of the agency’s campaign is to increase the adoption of soil health-promoting systems on the nation’s farm and ranches.”
Watch the video below, plus check out these five blog posts discussing how cattle producers are already doing a great job of reversing desertification, providing wildlife habitat, fostering a good environment for native grasses to grow and thrive, preventing wildfires, and more.
What do you think of the new USDA campaign? In what ways do you promote soil health on your ranch? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.
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