Soil

Healthy soil is the foundation for long-term success for all farms and ranches. Whether organic or conventional, raising livestock or crops, your operation will benefit when you continually improve your soil’s health. ATTRA’s soil resources can help you prevent soil erosion, increase soil organic matter and water holding capacity, manage soil fertility, and improve the profitability of your farm.

Unhealthy soil doesn’t absorb much water. Healthy soil acts like a sponge, capable of holding hundreds of thousands of gallons of water in an acre. Regenerative farming practices enable the soil to capture rainfall that otherwise might disappear as runoff. Economically, these practices can increase crop and forage production, drought resilience, access to lucrative new markets, and therefore profitability. Environmentally, they can improve soil health and biodiversity.

Soil for Water

Soil for Water supports an expanding network of farmers and ranchers who are taking steps to catch and hold more water in the soil. The Soil for Water project grew out of the western megadrought, which is putting a strain on agricultural producers across the country.

The free and voluntary program combines the use of appropriate technology, peer-to-peer learning, and adaptive management to encourage the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices. The Soil for Water project is about building lasting infrastructure and connecting dynamic agricultural producers that will make farms, ranches, and communities more resilient in the face of persistent drought and other natural disasters.

Ellie Fleshman of Fleshman Farms in Teton County Montana USDA NRCS Flickr CC

Featured Topics

ATTRA’s Soil Resources

four photo depicting various stages of soil health
Project Field Day
soil moisture probe

Tracking Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration: The Satellites Are Coming!

By Mike Morris, NCAT Southwest Regional Office Director  A…
closeup of hand holding rich soil with earthworms
linear irrigation over cropsNCAT
estiércol de oveja

Safe to Fail Trials with Graeme Hand

In this webinar, Australian rancher Graeme Hand explains to Soil…

Healthy Soil for a Wealthy Tomorrow

Jeremy Brown, a fourth-generation cotton farmer in the Texas panhandle, focuses on NRCS’s five soil health principles and uses common-sense practices, including cover cropping, to increase financial prosperity, decrease health stressors, and increase nutrient density in his soils.
Elise Haschke
Farmer Chris Hay, Say Hay Farms, inspecting compost prior to application by spreader.
Farmer walking through a field