Soil Health: The Foundation for Regenerative Agriculture was held July 30-31, 2020, as a virtual forum with 28 speakers advancing opportunities to address climate change, water quality, food production, biodiversity, and many other pressing issues by improving soil health. Presentations addressed the actionable potential of soil health, including preliminary suggestions on how the agricultural industry can measure soil function in the future and the role of farmers and ranchers in combating global climate change and its impacts. In addition, 26 researchers provided three-minute video research presentations and discussed their research with online attendees.
Soil health leaders discussed key drivers of soil health adoption. The keynote was provided by Jay Watson, Sourcing Sustainability Engagement Manager at General Mills, Inc., who leads General Mills, Inc.’s greenhouse gas reduction and regenerative agriculture commitments.
SHI evaluated more than 30 different indicators of soil health in order to provide the agricultural industry with a short list of the most effective measurements farmers and ranchers can use to improve soil health. Moreover, SHI scientists described projects to evaluate the profitability of soil health systems; a farmer-led soil health training program; and research on how soil health relates to water quality, carbon sequestration, and drought resilience.
During the meeting, soil health leaders discussed new provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill that have an impact the U.S. soil health movement. Farmers reviewed soil health practices that provide a demonstrated return on investment. Finally, speakers looked towards the future, identifying benefits that may arise from better understanding the soil microbiome.
Videos of annual meeting presentations are available here.
For further information, visit www.soilhealthinstitute.org.
About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.