Panel of CAST members discusses advantages of soil health practices

Experts discussed the benefits of soil health practices during a recent panel discussion. Dennis Todey, director of USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub, emphasized the importance of soil health management in increasing resilience to extreme weather events. By improving soil health and infiltration in upstream agricultural fields, downstream flooding could be reduced.

Todey explained that soil health practices can also provide agronomic benefits such as reducing soil loss and water quality issues. However, he acknowledged that resolving the issue of soil health remains challenging, particularly in terms of funding for practices that occur outside of urban areas or cities.

A report from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) estimated that the cost of poor soil health on global food production ranges from $15 to $40 billion per year. The panel discussion emphasized the importance of implementing soil health practices to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events and improve agricultural sustainability. Todey’s insights reinforced the need for collaborative efforts to address soil health issues and promote environmentally-friendly farming practices.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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