Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative is excited to announce its new #LovINsoil campaign to promote soil health in partnership with…YOU! The health of the earth’s soil isn’t something that most people consider or discuss on a regular basis, if ever. But soil is an important resource for everything from human health to water filtration to the food that is grown from it. We literally owe our lives to soil! Keeping it healthy and functioning keeps us alive! The goal of this campaign is to show Indiana communities that soil health matters to all of us, not just to farmers and agriculture professionals who earn their livelihood from the soil.
Soil health is the capacity of a soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plans, animals and humans. Healthy soil is capable of holding water and nutrients like a sponge so that they are readily available for plant roots to take them up and use them as needed. Healthy soil sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and cleans the water that flows through it into nearby water sources. Healthy soil contains organic matter such as plant and animal materials, microorganisms and the products of those organisms. Those organisms help decompose and aerate the organic matter into the nutrient rich mixture that puts food on the table.
There are many practices that can be employed to help improve the overall health of your soil. Utilizing cover crops in your operation can help reduce soil erosion that washes away key nutrients. Implementing a no-till or reduced tillage program on your farm can help prevent compaction, allowing the soil to act more like the sponge that it needs to be for your crops. Conservation farming practices can also allow you to decrease the chemicals you need to apply, saving you both time and money.
As part of the #LovINsoil campaign, billboards will be placed throughout Indiana over the next several months. Through mid-June, billboards can be spotted in Randolph, Cass, Jackson and Dubois counties. From mid-June until mid-July, Grant, Howard, Daviess, and Dearborn counties will host #LovINsoil billboards. The next 4 week series of billboards will be in Marshall, Jasper, Henry and Gibson counties from mid-July until mid-August. The last round of billboards will be placed in mid-August. Marshall county will once again host one, along with Clinton, Ohio and Vigo. Send us a snapshot of a billboard if you happen upon one in your travels throughout Indiana!
I noted in the opening paragraph that YOU are a partner in this #LovINsoil campaign. How? We want to see YOUR love for healthy soil! Use social media to post your favorite cover crop, no-till, pollinator strip or other soil health pics using the hashtag #lovINsoil. Tag Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative in your photo. You can also submit your photos to ccsin.org, or through our website at https://www.ccsin.org/submit-a-photo.
Sheila Schroeder CCSI Northern Program Manager