(Posted Tue. Jun 14th, 2016)

Farmers, environmentalists and consumers alike have expressed a growing interest in sustainability and soil health recently. Yet, many wonder what precisely is being done to actively advance this important cause?


To answer that question, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture released the paper Exploring Opportunities to Advance Soil Health: The Role of Commodity Crop Supply Chains in Maintaining and Improving the Health of Our Nation's Soil, which discusses the importance of soil health in the sustainability conversation and explores the current knowledge and status of testing and tools. Additionally, this paper provides information and guidance as to how Field to Market's Metrics and the Fieldprint© Calculator can be used to advance conversations about soil health in supply chain projects.


The publication is available on the Field to Market website. This paper came forth from the Alliance’s work to help inform how U.S. agriculture can improve soil health. Designed by a subgroup of the Field to Market Metrics and Goals Working Groups, the paper continues an ongoing conversation in agriculture about soil health that includes discussion of the state of science and considers options for aligning tools with soil health objectives.


The Soil Health Partnership currently augments these efforts to further soil health by encouraging use of the Fieldprint Calculator and collaborating on the development of soil health metrics. An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the SHP works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, federal agencies and well-known environmental groups toward common goals.


NCGA is also proud to be a member of Field to Market, a collaborative multi-stakeholder group involving producers, agribusinesses, food and retail companies, conservation organizations and university and government partners striving to develop a supply chain system for agricultural sustainability.


Field to Market focuses on these specific, critical outcomes: increasing agricultural productivity to meet future nutritional needs while decreasing impacts on the environment, including water, soil, habitat, air quality and climate emissions, and land use; improving human health through access to safe, nutritious food; and improving the social and economic well-being of agricultural communities.