Soil health can combat climate change from the ground up

By

National News

September 3, 2019 - 10:12 AM

WASHINGTON —Five months after devastating spring flooding across the Midwest, farms along the Missouri River remain under water. This summer, severe drought has hit patches of Texas and Oklahoma. Areas of the West and Southeast are abnormally dry.

As floods and droughts become more common, farmers, scientists and conservationists are looking for ways to resist. One solution to combating the changing climate starts in the ground. A growing number of states across the country are proposing policies to encourage building healthier agricultural soil, a costly investment for many growers, but one that research shows can benefit farmers and the environment.

Just this year, at least 10 states have introduced new soil management policies that call for further research or data collection, or offer tax exemptions, technical assistance or even grant money to, among other actions, plant cover crops, diversify crop rotations and reduce tillage that can tear apart beneficial fungi.

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