​​​The Road to Soil Health: Farming in the 21st Century

January 2015 | 30 min., 23 sec.
by Steve Woodruff
USDA-NRCS

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Summary

​In the past, most growers and those in agriculture-related fields regarded soils as the medium for growing plants. Now there is an increasing interest in soil health and understanding the role soil biology plays in the growing of our crops. This webcast will help consultants, county agents, growers, and other practitioners in the Southern U.S. cotton producing states to understand how soils function and how improving soil health can increase water holding capacity while reducing runoff and moderating soil temperatures. Improving soil health is accomplished through management practices that provide habitat and food for the soil’s biology. This presentation will specifically help the understanding and implementation of the four basic principles of soil health that lead to better water use efficiency. These four principles are: minimize soil disturbance, increase plant diversity, grow a living root year round, and keep the soil covered.​

About the Presenter

Steve WoodruffSteve Woodruff was raised on a small row crop and beef cattle farm in northwest North Carolina. After attending North Carolina State University and receiving a BS in Agronomy in 1983, he began a career with USDA’s Soil Conservation Service and then later, following the name change, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Dr. Woodruff worked as a soil conservationist, district conservationist and state agronomist for North Carolina. Currently, he is an agronomist at the NRCS East National Technology Service Center located in Greensboro, North Carolina. He assists states with their cropland agronomy and grazing concerns. He also provides training and information as part of our Soil Health Team.​

Contact Information:
Email: Steve.Woodruff@gnb.usda.gov

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