The U.S. Department of Agricultureâs (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) mascot Sammy Soil on the Sunny Ridge Farm in Laytonsville, MD on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014. The Sunny Ridge Farm owned by the Stabler family uses a number of conservation practices to promote soil health and water quality. No-till cropping systems use cover crops that help water soak deep into the soil and machines work lightly on top of the soil preserving vertical pores that are waterâs pipeline to the roots. Cover crops prevent erosion, improve soil health, hold water, supply nutrients, and suppress weeds and pests. Fenced waterways keep livestock away from the streams and drainage to low points of fields, which allows grass, trees and other vegetation to grow. The plants take up nutrients from the livestock effluent, reducing pollution to waterways. The farm also has a well-designed agrichemical facility for an environmentally safe area to handle and store tanks of on-farm chemicals. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
May 26, 2014
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