Sustainable Agriculture Practices

Covered soil in Iowa field

 Covered soil in Iowa field. USDA, NRCS, Photo by Gene Alexander

The five soil health principles advocated for by our committee to restore degraded agricultural lands and maintain soil health in restored lands are outlined below. These principles are consistent with the healthy soils programs adopted by several states over the last 5 years.

  1. Keep soil covered to prevent wind and water erosion, reduce water evaporation and weed growth.

  1. Minimize physical, chemical, and biological soil disturbance; minimal to no tilling.

  1. Maximize biodiversity through use of cover crops and diversity of crops.

  1. Maintain living roots throughout the year to feed microbial life and add carbon to the soil.

  1. Integrate animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects, or keystone species such as earthworms.

Gabe Brown explains in this 5 minute YouTube video from World Wildlife Fund and the World Economic Forum.