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. Soil health revolves around five principles: minimizing disturbance (such as tillage, biocides, and fertilizer), year-long roots in the ground, soil cover, plant diversity, and livestock integration.

This inaugural conference will focus on innovations and technologies that serve to address the future of sustainable agricultural through better soil health practices. The goal is to create a learning platform for agriculture producers and educators that incorporates present and future concepts, techniques, and practical applications. These include readapted methods, new technologies, groundbreaking research, market-based demand, or innovative social approaches that encourage and expand improved soil health.

This conference will examine a broad umbrella of strategies and technologies to enhance soil health. Examples of potential topics that illustrate the range of innovation that is energizing this field today include:

  • Non-traditional partnerships between conservation groups, food companies, and producers to test best practices and promote broader adoption by producers
  • Use of remote imaging technologies and precision agriculture systems to build healthier soils
  • New approaches to terminate cover crops
  • Breakthroughs in the understanding of soil biology
  • New methods to test and monitor soil organic carbon and other indicators of soil health
  • The role of biotechnology to improve soil health
  • Regenerative grazing to enhance carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and water infiltration
  • Livestock integration to improve cropland soils
  • Development of new markets for ecosystem services related to healthy soils

For more information, contact Carl Little at carll@ncat.org

Western SARE advances innovations that promote environmental stewardship, enhance quality of life, and improve profitability of rural communities by investing in groundbreaking agricultural research and education.

We support projects by farmers and ranchers, agricultural professionals, researchers, and extension educators in 17 Western states and territories. Over the past 30 years, Western SARE has assisted more than 1,000 different sustainability projects with over $57 million in funding.

We also have created an extensive learning center to ensure that research results are easily and rapidly accessible.

You can learn more about our grant programs and learning center at https://www.westernsare.org/