Soil Health

Q&A with Ruth Ready

  

Q: Why should we care if soil is healthy?

Ruth: Healthy soil sustains our world’s food supply. When soil is healthy, the ecosystem within the soil has the optimum levels of structure, living organisms, nutrients and all other biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) components.

Ruth Ready, Scribner, Neb.

Science is the basis of everything we do in farming. We use scientific findings as we enhance soil health, conserve natural resources and continue to produce more food with fewer resources.

Ruth Ready
Scribner, Neb.

Q: How do farmers protect soil?

Ruth: There are many different things we do to protect soil. Here are a few:

When crops are grown, a primary consideration as we make decisions is, will this improve — or at least maintain — the health of our soil?

Q: Is it true that our soil will be depleted in 60 years?

Ruth: There is no research that supports this claim. This was a sensationalized headline designed to elicit an emotional response. In fact, many soils are in better health than they were 60 years ago. Today, we are better equipped to scientifically study our soils and work to improve them.

Q: Why do farmers use chemicals and fertilizers?

Ruth: Chemicals and fertilizers allow farmers to improve soil health and keep soil in place. No-till farming (where soil is never disturbed) is ONLY possible with careful use of herbicides.

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CornsTalk is a newsletter produced by the Nebraska Corn Board that covers important subjects and provides regular updates on various programs of interest to corn growers and others.