The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum was held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, VA on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. The breakout session on Reducing Risks by Improving Soil Health examined the indicators of soil health, to reduce chemical inputs and apply the right techniques for sustainable production and other benefits. Soil health is defined as the capacity of the soil to function as a living ecosystem that sustains plant, animal, and human health with limited human intervention. In a test to simulate rain, the untilled soil has pores that allow the red colored water to pass through the surface. The tilled soil blocks the blue colored water from passing through to the pan below. In the graduated containers on the left, the left container has a ball of untilled soil, which holds its structure, while the tilled soil ball of the same size quickly lost it's integrity and mixed with the water. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.
May 12, 2014
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