“When we think about the challenges in agriculture, carbon—and how to sequester it—is near the top.” So said Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), in opening the grassroots organization’s 2019 annual convention in March. Storing carbon in farm soils is an important climate change solution, but building the health of those soils is also critical for ensuring clean water for communities and helping farmers be productive while coping with the consequences of a climate that is already changing. And throughout the NFU’s three-day gathering, the phrase “soil health” and talk about strategies to achieve it seemed to be on everyone’s tongue.
Before switching to no-till, farmer Gary Hula described the soil as having the consistency of flour. Just four years later and the structure and moisture in the soil is undeniable. Photo courtesy USDA/Flickr
Karen Perry Stillerman, senior analyst, Food and Environment
April 8, 2019 12:12 PM EDT