is a living, vital ecosystem!
Imagine life on the Earth's surface if we had...
There would be no life.
Did you know it's the same under the surface?
If there's no water infiltrating...
no space for air...
if there's nothing to feed the organisms...
Under our covers, the soil is alive!
What do we mean by covers, you ask?
Cover Crops, of course!
Soil is not meant to be naked.
In conventional agriculture, fields are left with no cover in between cash crops. Cover crops are unharvested, beneficial plants grown between production crops and are an important practice used in regenerative agriculture.
So, how do cover crops help the soil?
By keeping the soil covered during fallow periods, we are keeping living roots in the soil all year. We are significantly reducing soil erosion and agricultural runoff, which not only keeps the soil intact and healthier, but also impacts water quality.
But that's not all.
Remember when we said that soil is alive? Every part of the Soil Food Web work together to create the healthiest soil. The balance of the underground ecosystem depends on living roots year-round. Living roots nourish the microbes and help increase organic matter. They create channels which increases pore space, allowing for more air and water flow.
And that's important for us all...
Farmers and rest of the community all benefit from healthy soil.
Improved Soil Structure
Increased Soil Biology
Increased Water Holding Capacity
For the Community...
Less Wind & Water Erosion
Improved Water Quality
Improved Air Quality
Decreased Flood Risk
And we're not talking about healthy soils for just agricultural fields! Benefits come from keeping all soils healthy!
Poor plant growth, erosion, poor drainage, and soil compaction are issues we all may deal with. Plus, things like water conservation and climate resilience may be concerns to any of us.
Cover crops is just one of the beneficial conservation practices that can impact our natureal resources! Follow the links to read more about keeping it covered
and other practices!
Finally, there is the realization that while agriculture is part of the problem, it can be a part of the solution... regenerative practices can not only help farmers, but society as a whole, no matter where your interest lies.
Gabe Brown, rancher
Dirt to Soil: One Family's Journey into Regenerative Agriculture