Soil Health Celebration

(Progressive Farmer image by Jim Patrico)

Healthy soil is essential to food production and national prosperity. The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is dedicated to supporting both for years to come, senior director John Mesko explains.

SHP, a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health, celebrated its fifth anniversary last year. Mesko recently held a webinar to tout past accomplishments and share plans for 2020 and beyond.

"The real wealth of our nation is the soil and ability to grow food ... it's really why we are a superpower," he says. "Anything we can do to sustain that will continue to help society and strengthen global security."

Organizations and businesses like The Nature Conservancy, Bayer, the National Corn Growers Association and others joined forces to conduct research on more than 200 farms and 7,000 acres to improve soil resiliency. Data collected about cover crops, tillage, nutrient management and more are shared with farmers and influencers to keep soil -- a living ecosystem -- healthy and productive.

Much has been learned, Mesko says, but the education process is just beginning. SHP intends to prioritize on-farm engagement and research, data management, partnership building and communication and outreach programs, among other things, this year and in the future.

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