A Consensus is Forming – Report on NY Soil Health Summit, July 18, 2018

The era of soil health is dawning – that is the conclusion we heard from David Montgomery, keynote speaker at the New York Soil Health Summit. Organized by David W. Wolfe, Cornell Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology, the summit brought together 140 people to hear the latest developments underway in research, farming practices and policy related to building soil organic matter and increasing carbon in the soil.

‘Soil My Undies’ Challenge Has Farmers Burying Underwear In Their Fields

Started by the Farmers Guild in California, the Soil Your Undies Challenge is a test designed to show the power and importance of healthy soil. The Challenge is easy: Simply bury a pair of 100 percent cotton underwear—generally white briefs have been the garment of choice—in your farm, garden, or pasture. Two months later, dig them up and inspect and document the changes.

Soil Farmers: How A Renewed Focus On The Land Is Building More Resilient Farms

Systematically grazing large herds of livestock for defined periods of time across the land creates the necessary conditions for grasses to grow again, Allan Savory argues. In turn, restored grasslands have the potential to sequester enough carbon to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the animals—and perhaps more. Savory’s theory flies in the face of the contemporary understanding of overgrazing, ecological restoration of grasslands, and climate change.

To Realize Land’s True Value, We Need to Invest In It Wisely

Investing in sustainable land management and practices such as restoring degraded land can recover soil health and enhance soil functions and land productivity to provide critical ecological and economic benefits for human needs. We suggest investing in critical linkages that are closely linked to several problems.

Soil Biodiversity and Soil Organic Carbon: Why Should Nations Invest in It to Keep Drylands Alive?

Soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon are an important foundation of a broad range of ecosystem services across all four standard ecosystem service categories. Governments should aim at protecting and promoting the multi-functionality of land to ensure that land users employ sustainable approaches that are measured against the delivery of multiple goods and services.