Most people take soil for granted. It’s just dirt, right? Well, no. Check out this video on soil and you’ll never see dirt the same way again.
Healthy soil can help trap carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Plants growing in the soil move carbon dioxide underground, helping keep it out of the atmosphere. Healthy soil teems with life, as a home for microbes, bacteria and fungi, insects and worms. Within this circular system, matter eaten by insects and worms is returned as nutrients. The organic matter in soil allows it to absorb and filter water, helping prevent erosion and control flooding. And, of course, the better the soil, the more nutritious the grass for our cows*.
Piloting soil practices
We’re taking action now to further study and boost the soil health on our farms because soil helps sequester carbon dioxide. We’ve dedicated 28,000 acres of land to research and pilot new soil health-boosting practices over a period of several years. With future generations in mind, we’ll continue to build on what we learn about creating resilient farmland.
Select Horizon Organic family farmer partners are also taking part in our Soil Health Initiative, which measures the biodiversity within the soil on their land. We selected farms with fewer than 150 cows to participate in our in-depth soil testing program, which covers about 13 million gallons of our organic milk supply.
Regenerative agriculture for healthy soil
In order to go carbon positive, we’re embracing regenerative agriculture. These farming and grazing practices help rebuild soil organic matter and restore soil biodiversity. And we’re all about healthy soil and its carbon-trapping abilities. Even our cows have a role to play, breaking up soil as they move around, and providing manure as a fertilizer.
Organic farming practices are already designed to help keep soil healthy and improve it over time, and we’re intent on improving and expanding these practices for the healthiest soil possible. Our farmers use sustainable practices like composting, cover crops, crop rotation and managed grazing to help increase soil health and provide their cows with pasture grass and forage. Toxic, persistent pesticides that can linger in soil and contaminate water are strictly prohibited under Organic regulations.