The road back to healthy soils is not easy... but there are large paybacks in farm profitability
- In the US corn belt, adoption of soil health management practices showed and average annual profit gain of $41 to $124 per acre within 3-5 year adoption.
- A producer’s fertilizer costs accounts for up to 50% of total costs — improved soil health reduces need for fertilizers.
- A 1% increase in soil organic matter is valued at $29 per acre for nutrient and available water holding capacity.
The damage being done to U.S. agriculture can be slowed or reversed
The benefits of regenerative agriculture extend to restoring the nutrient value of crops...
- “Virtually all the world’s agricultural land exists in a degraded condition which reduces the availability of nutrients in the soil...”
- “Studies have chronicled the steady, decades long decline of dietary nutrients in vegetables including copper (down 24-75%), calcium (down 46%), iron (down 27-50%), magnesium (down 10-24%), and potassium (down 16%).” ... “There have been steep declines in other nutrients as well, including protein, riboflavin and vitamin C.”
- “Recent scientific studies linking nutrients in healthy soil to regenerative agricultural practices and human health show we can reverse the downward trend in our childrens’ health.”
Sources: Gabe Brown, Dirt to Soil
...and our environment benefits as well.
- Improved water quality. Degraded soil pollutes waterways through erosion and nutrient run-off. Healthy soils store water deep in the soil and retain moisture.
- Carbon sequestration. Soils store over 3x more carbon than the atmosphere. Good soil health reduces carbon loss and requires less fertilizer, which is estimated to contribute 1/3 of agriculture greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn more about the role of the carbon cycle in healthy soil.