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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Steven Rosenzweig

How a New Way of Thinking About Soil Sparked a National Movement in Agriculture

June 20, 2017 |

This article was originally published on Ensia.com

As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.

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For three weeks every month, Ray Archuleta captivates audiences with a few handfuls of soil. He begins with two clumps, dropping them into water. The soil from a farm where the soil isn’t tilled holds together, while the tilled soil immediately disperses, indicating poor soil structure. Next, volunteers from the audience — mostly farmers and ranchers — pour water over a soil that grew a variety of crops, and it runs right through. A sample of tilled soil that grew only corn is like a brick, and the water sits on top. Water is the most precious resource for growing crops, and having a soil that is unable to absorb water is crippling for farmers. Read More