soil moisture probe

Soil Health Principles – Application and Results of Investing in Your Soils

In this video, farmers Paul Kaiser and Ward Burroughs tell how they invest in their soils by applying the five principles of healthy soil management on their farms. Two very different farms growing different crops in different locations show how these principles are applied at different scales. NCAT’s Rex Dufour introduces the topic, providing context about how we got to where we are with respect to soil health and sounding the alarm about the urgent need for all farmers to become more conscious about managing for soil health — an investment with very high returns.

At Singing Frogs Farm, Elizabeth and Paul’s method of farming diversified crops on three acres in Sonoma has resulted in an increase of more than 300 percent in their soil organic matte — while drastically reducing their water use — and generated more than $100,000 per acre in sales. Their methods have decreased fertility inputs and water usage and maximized yields while improving the ecological health of their land.

Ward Burroughs of Burroughs Family Farms is a much larger operation, and he and Rosie have been farming for decades. Ward discusses how he applies these principles to large acreages of almonds in the San Joaquin Valley and his observations of the results. He also discusses his family’s approach to farming and investing in their soils.

This video is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG