Soil health is the capacity of the soil to function as a living system, with ecosystem and land use boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and promote plant and animal health. Soil health is especially important to ensure long-term productivity of farming operations as well as ecosystem health.
Only “living” things can have health, so viewing soil as a living ecosystem reflects a fundamental shift in the way we care for our soils. Soil isn’t an inert growing medium, but rather it is teaming with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem. Soil is an ecosystem that can be managed using soil health principles and best management practices. Click on each button to learn more about soil health concepts.
- Soil Health Resource GuideThis resource guide contains useful information for farmers and ranchers interested in building better soil on agricultural lands.
- Soil Health Opportunities in HawaiiWant to know more about how farmers in Hawai’i Island can join training events to make soil health plans? Also, find out ways to get special certification from NRCS to help farmers make soil health plans. You can learn about all this by watching the short webinar.
- Integrating Practices and Setting up for a Soil Health PlanThe final workshop in the WFN Summer Soil Health Series looked at resources in Hawai’i for further understanding of soil health and getting assistance setting up a soil health plan.
- Using cover crops and organic amendments to meet your farm’s soil health goalsIn-field cover crop and organic amendments demonstration
- How to monitor, assess and set soil health goals on your farmIn-field soil assessment
- Introduction to regenerative agriculture principles for soil health managementLearn about the Principles to Building Healthy Soil and the Steps to Developing a Soil Health Management System.
- Soil Health Basics & BenefitsSoil health is critical for maintaining our natural ecosystems, ensuring future agricultural productivity and maintaining our public and economic health.
- Soil Health ManagementFarmers have a tremendous role in managing soil health on their lands and rely on soil health for their productivity and continued success.