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Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering >> 2020, Volume 7, Issue 3 doi: 10.15302/J-FASE-2020340

Soil health: model programs in the USA

. Soil Health Institute, Morrisville, NC 27560, USA.. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA 22203, USA.. Soil Health Partnership, Chesterfield, MO 63005, USA.. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.. Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Washington, DC 20004, USA.. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, DC 20250, USA.. Holly Springs Lane, Greensboro, NC 27455, USA

Received:2020-05-25 Accepted: 2020-06-11 Available online:2020-06-11

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Abstract

Population growth, increasing drought, and natural resources degradation are significant global issues. Fortunately, management practices to improve soil health can address many of these issues in ways that are both good for the farmer and the environment. In 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service initiated its “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” campaign to assist farmers and ranchers with adopting soil health systems. Other notable efforts at the federal level include research and education projects by USDA Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. The importance of improving soil health is also recognized far beyond federal government programs. The Soil Health Institute, a nonprofit charity, was established to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and adoption. Crop commodity organizations are promoting soil health, such as the Soil Health Partnership. The Nature Conservancy is helping companies and private landowners incorporate soil health into their sustainability efforts. Such efforts are supported by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, as well as by some of the leading global food companies such as General Mills. These are just a few of the many efforts to improve soil health in the USA. The significance of the expanding global population, natural resource challenges, and responsibilities to current and future generations truly make enhancing soil health a global imperative.

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