Digging In

Creating a Resilient Farming System Through Soil Health

Creating a Resilient Farming System Through Soil Health

By Environmental Defense Fund on Thursday, 08 August, 2019

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) identified the importance of learning and demonstrating the impact and value of soil health and nutrient management practices and chose to be a founding partner of the Soil Health Partnership (SHP).

Farmer-led, science-driven, and a focus on taking learning and implementation to scale are priorities to EDF and aligned well with our agriculture sustainability goals making investing in SHP a no-brainer. 

On-farm research is incredibly important because it is real world. The agriculture industry needs significantly more research that takes place under real world conditions, as this is the kind of research that is most immediately useful and applicable by farmers in their own farming situations to advance sustainability and resilience.

Few large scale initiatives are farmer-led, and yet farmers are most likely to try and adopt things they learn from their peers. So the fact that SHP is farmer-led significantly increases the likelihood that its findings will lead to adoption of new practices by more farmers. SHP is effective because the knowledge they develop is helping farmers as well as other key stakeholders to impact agricultural sustainability. 

SHP’s commitment to looking open-eyed at the data about which aspects of soil health actually contribute to a more sustainable, more resilient farm outcome is what makes this initiative so valuable. Improving soil health in ways that improve key outcomes including: water quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improved yields is what helps farmers and the resilience of the agriculture landscape. 

EDF is proud to be a founding member of this impactful organization, and we look forward to the continued success of SHP.

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The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is celebrating its fifth anniversary as a farmer-led initiative fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. SHP has grown from 17 active farms in 2014 to 220 active farms in 2019. SHP represents around 6,000 acres, spans across 16 states and partners with over 100 organizations at the federal, state and county levels. Join us as we reflect on the past five years and celebrate the opportunities ahead!