Healthy soils matter!
Why should we care about soil health? Emily Hartmann, Executive Director with the Bond County Soil and Water Conservation District, explains that healthy soil is important for agriculture and our state’s ability to feed the nation, but it actually has a direct impact on many larger issues that affect life as we know it.
Soil health can improve and regulate water, sustain plant and animal life, filter potential pollutants, cycle nutrients, and support building and structures. Healthy soils hold more water, which can reduce flooding and help with drought. Healthy soils also resist runoff and erosion, they suppress weeds and pests naturally, and sustain our precious natural resources.
Simply put, healthy soils are productive soils and they are important to every one of us. Reducing erosion is one of the ways to not only protect our top soil but also reduce phosphorous loss. Here in Southern Illinois reducing phosphorous loss is a priority in the Illinois Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Another priority area is reducing nitrogen loss.
The Bond County Soil and Water Conservation District offers cost-share assistance to landowners that are interested in implementing practices that can improve soil health, reduce erosion and reduce nutrient losses. Some of those programs include: planting cover crops, converting cropland to pasture or hayland, utilizing nutrient management plans, no-till corn or sorghum, introducing pollinator habitat, and more. For the complete list of practices that can be cost-shared please visit www.bondswcd.org.
Begin by identifying priority fields and completing your cost-share assistance application. The application can be found at www.bondswcd.org. Complete and return your application to the Bond Co. SWCD office no later than June 30, 2019. Funds are limited and will be prioritized and ranked on a first come, first served basis for qualifying applications.
To learn more about healthy soils contact the Bond County Soil and Water Conservation District at 618-664-3590 ext. 3.