Using science to better understand soil and produce better crops

Facebook-North Cache Soil and Conservation District

CACHE COUNTY — There is ground-breaking work being done in the world of agriculture when it comes to the ground – dirt, improvements to soil conditioning and preservation.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday, Tony Richards, the resource coordinator with the North Cache and Blacksmith Fork Soil and Conservation districts, said it’s quite exciting with the improved study and understanding of soil health.

“What we used to think of as soil as something that a farmer owned, they have their land and they’re growing crops. We’re starting to understand that the soil is the most critical point for them, it’s their most valuable resource.

“Taking care of that soil is what’s going to make sure that their farm exists into the future, so that future generations can continue on carrying in that tradition,” Richards explained.

He said they are starting to understand that the soil is such a living, complex system. How it is managed will dictate how productive that soil will be in the future.

“For example, if you were to take a teaspoon full of a healthy soil, that teaspoon could have billions of living organisms inside it, and to be able to understand their interactions with each other, with our plants, and how our environment works is so complex. But researchers are seeing such amazing things.”

To help farmers understand the latest findings, he said YouTube has been among the best teachers as farmers share their experiences in different parts of the world.

Also, the Utah legislature recently passed a bill (HB 296) – the Soil Health Bill – to set up a statewide program to better understand these things.

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