The Kansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is renewing its commitment to help Kansas farmers build healthy soils. Our vision is to improve soil quality and build healthy productive soils in order to sustain life, resources, and communities.
Although farmers account for less than 2 percent of the United States population, they are putting food on the table for 330 million Americans. With world population growth expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the question facing all of us is can we increase agricultural productivity without adversely affecting the environment?
Improving the health of soil is the answer.
An estimated 5 to 20 percent of American farmers have already adopted soil health management systems. These innovators hold a key to 21st century sustainable food production.
A positive outcome for Kansas farmers managing for soil health as they continue to feed the world is improved profitability. They spend less on fuel and energy while benefiting from the higher crop yields resulting from improved soil conditions.
The keys to improving soil health: disturb the soil as little as possible, grow as many different species of plants as possible through rotations and a diverse mixture of cover crops, keep living plants in the soil as long as possible throughout the year, and keep the soil surface covered with residue year round.
One of the worst droughts in over 30 years continues to grip Kansas. A soil in better shape – better health – helps it be more resilient, to bounce back, in times of stress.