Soil for Water Tag

Farmers, ranchers, and land managers across the United States who are taking steps to catch and hold more water in the soil are invited to join the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Soil for Water project. Building on an expanding peer-to-peer network of ranchers in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Montana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia, NCAT has opened the program to crop farmers, ranchers, and land managers in all 50 states who are learning together how to catch and hold more water in the soil....

Damian Valdez and Jamie Williamson run Lighthouse Herb’n Farm, an organic herb, tea, medicinal plant, and dye-plant operation in eastern San Diego. The farm is located on what is considered Luiseño Payómkawichum native land. In this episode of Voices from the Field, Jamie and Damian talk with NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor about their ethic of “leave no trace” — how they farm organically in San Diego’s harsh desert climate in a way that honors this sacred native land, and ensures that it is kept intact for generations to come.
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor and Damian Valdez and Jamie...

Soil health has emerged as a central theme in conversations about the future of American agriculture. Soils have become a focal topic due to new scientific understanding, the application of emerging technologies, and a growing interest among producers and policymakers in improving climate resilience and mitigating emissions. NCAT's Soil Health Innovations Conference was held online with live-streamed speakers and panels, as well as virtual halls for exhibitors and student posters. The event allowed participants to network with exhibitors and sponsors and the producers, industry professionals, educators, and students who are at the cutting edge of soil health across the country. This video...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist Jeff Schahczenski talks with Aria McLauchlan and Harley Cross about how to measure the impact that soil health practices can have in mitigating the impacts of weather and climate disruption. Aria and Harley are co-founders of Land Core, a nonprofit organization advancing soil health policies and programs that create value for farmers, businesses, and communities. Land Core guided the successful passage of language supporting soil health at the USDA in both the House and Senate in 2019 and built a broad coalition that helped secure more than...

In my work on NCAT’s Soil for Water Project, I’ve tried a lot of different ways of monitoring land and soil health. For years, I’ve been hearing about LandPKS (Land Potential Knowledge System), a mobile app that has been under development by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) since 2013. I was excited to hear that a full version was released earlier this year, and a couple weeks ago I finally got around to installing the app on my phone and running it through some tests.
By Mike Morris, Director of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office ...