EASTON – National Soil Health Day is today, Wednesday 23 June. He puts an emphasis on farmers, breeders and others who improve soil health. Soil health is important to agriculture, conservation, and efforts to reduce runoff that affect Chesapeake Bay and its vast watershed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Maryland National Resource Conservation Service are celebrating Soil Health Day to view the soil as a living ecosystem.

“Soil functions, such as water storage, nutrient cycling, and chemical-physical buffering, all play important roles in both agriculture and conservation,” said Jason Martin, a resource-soil scientist at the Maryland NRCS.

The agency encourages more farmers to use conservation practices to improve soil quality.

“Soil health is important because it takes a more holistic view that has traditionally been neglected in production agriculture,” said Rachel Yeatman, a district conservationist at NRCS.

“Instead of focusing on individual aspects such as yield, pest control, plant nutrients and inputs, it brings all of these goals together and focuses on how a functioning soil ecosystem can achieve these goals. The combination of physical, biotic and chemical factors in the soil work together to minimize farm inputs while maximizing goals. “

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