SACRAMENTO — American Farmland Trust, the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, is releasing a new “Accelerating Soil Health” case study about Rogers Orchard in Madera, California. This study is among four examples from Illinois, Ohio and New York farmers, which add to four studies released in July 2019 that included Okuye Farm in Merced. The growing case study library assists farmers curious about soil health and technical service providers eager to help farmers adopt soil health practices. This work continues to show healthier farmland soil brings economic benefits to farmers and environmental benefits to society. The cases were developed in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service under a Conservation Innovation Grant.
There is widespread recognition that soil health practices including cover crops, no-till and strip-tillage, nutrient management, mulching and composting are critical to improving farming’s environmental outcomes, air quality, water resilience and greenhouse gas emissions. Farmers often hesitate to adopt these methods, because they fear the financial risk of trying something new and the investment risk on leased lands.
NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez says, “When it comes to conservation, producers have the know how to make decisions based on what makes the most sense for their farm and ranch operations. The Conservation Innovation Grant improves our ability to recognize such case studies as the Rogers and Okuye Farms that provide valuable information on the economic benefits of using soil health management systems.”
Kara Heckert, AFT’s California Regional Director, says, “American Farmland Trust is making it easier for farmers to adopt climate-smart agricultural methods by providing evidence for the economic benefits of these practices. These models support widespread adoption and rapid realization of benefits for farmers and residents across the state. AFT is achieving this by finding ‘soil health successful farmers’ in California, such as the Rogers and Okuye Farms, and with their permission conducting a benefit-cost analysis of their soil health journey.”
AFT is hosting webinars to train conservationists and farmers on the economic analysis used in this project. Contact SHTraining@farmland.org.
For more information contact AFT California Project Manager Paul Lum at email@example.com or 707-480-1893 or NRCS Acting Public Affairs Director Victor Hernandez at (530) 792-5628.
–USDA NRCS California
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