Consider the valuable services your soil provides:
- Growing crops. Soil delivers nutrients and water and gives plants structural support. Could your soil cycle nutrients more efficiently so you save on input costs and your crops are healthier? Could your soil store more water so crops do better during dry spells?
- Controlling water flow. Soil helps control how water moves over and through the earth’s surface. Does rainfall quickly fill waterways rather than moving slowly through your soil? Could you reduce the amount of organic matter, nutrients, and soil you are losing to erosion?
- Filtering water. Healthy soil can filter and decompose organic substances such as manure, agricultural chemicals, and other compounds that can pollute air and water.
- Storing carbon. Soil is a storehouse of carbon. As concern grows about increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, farmers may receive financial benefits for increasing the amount of carbon (organic matter) stored in their soil.