Soil Heath Conference looks at economic benefits of soil conservation

Soil Heath Conference looks at economic benefits of soil conservation

Soil Health Institute President Dr. Wayne Honeycutt opens Soil Health Conference in St. Louis, Mo. July 13, 2017. Photo by Ben Nuelle

Ag industry leaders, USDA officials, environmental groups, and growers gather in St. Louis to discuss soil health at the second annual Soil Health Conference Thursday.

The soil health conference is titled “Powering Up Our Soils” and hosted by the Soil Health Institute.

Bill Buckner is President and CEO of the Noble Research Institute. The organization helped start the Soil Health Institute.

“We started an initiative called the Soil Renaissance in 2013 along with the Farm Foundation. Through that effort and the work of 150 plus volunteers, it has morphed into the Soil Health Institute, which the Noble Foundation contributed $20 million over 10 years to get the institute where it is today,” Buckner says.

Soil Health Institute Chief Scientific Officer Steve Shafer says there are a lot of economic benefits by improving soil health.

“What are the ups and downs, the risks, the impacts on the bottom line for the producer? Most producers don’t have a lot of control on what they get out of their commodity. Helping them reduce input costs and getting the maximum productivity possible is what this is all about,” Shafer says.

Around 200 people attended the conference.

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