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

Trollworks biochar equipment

The ‘Black Gold’ that Can Save Soils, Fight Forest Fires, and Power the Planet

By Emilie Ritter, NCAT Director of Communications and Development If…
person standing between row crops with urban skyline in backgroundNCAT

Regenerating Damaged Soils on an Urban Farm

In this video, we head to Garcia Street Farm, an urban farm in…
Stephanie Kasper's rainwater harvesting system

When in Drought, Plan It Out: Rain Harvesting

By Stephanie Kasper, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Program…

Episode 314. Biochar and NCAT’s SIFT Farm

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture…

Episode 313. Meet NCAT: Cody Brown on Carbon Planning in Texas

In this episode of Voices from the Field, we meet NCAT’s new…

Episode 312. New NCAT Irrigation Publications Demystify Water and Energy Savings

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture…
Healthy soilUSDA NRCS

Seeing the Farm with Fresh Eyes

By Nina Prater, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Over 15 years…
Nine species cover crop mixture.

Healthy Soil Structure – The House of Life

By Justin Morris, NCAT Regenerative Livestock Specialist Could…
Healthy soilUSDA NRCS

LandPKS: Learning How to Monitor Our Land Over Time and Discover Its Potential

This video is a primer on how to use LandPKS, a phone app that…
Healthy soil and hands, USDA Flickr

Episode 309. Cotton Fields to Pasture: Why Soil Health Matters with Bill Robertson

Dr. Bill Robertson recently retired after a long career as the…
Nina Prater's creek with a dog standing on the shore

Managing Phosphorus for Clean Water

By Nina Prater, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Almost every day,…
No Chemical Spraying sign

Residue Testing for Chemicals in Agricultural Soil

By Lee Rinehart, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Each year, a…
Irrigation system in Utah's Heber Valley
itayama Brothers, Inc. hydroponic greenhouses with micro irrigation in Watsonville, CA.USDA
Field Irrigation
two men working on center pivot irrigation systemMike Morris, NCAT