USDA/NRCS Soil Health Initiative in Mississippi

> Jackson, Miss. – February 16, 2017
> The United States Department of Agriculture / Natural Resources
> Conservation Service (NRCS), has established a statewide Soil Health Initiative that
> focuses on building soil health and productivity. Mississippi croplands, forestlands,
> and pasturelands are eligible for this initiative. Applications received by March 17, 2017
> will be considered in the first ranking period.
>
> This Soil Health Initiative will assist to improve the visibility, accessibility and
> participation in soil health programs and technical services under the Environmental
> Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). EQIP programs help to reduce the carbon footprint,
> increase water infiltration and improve wildlife habitat, all while helping farmers realize
> better crop yields.
>
> “As the world population grows, so does the demand for food production,”
> stated Kurt Readus, NRCS State Conservationist in Mississippi. “A growing number of
> farmers are using soil health management systems to improve the health and
> functions of their soil.”
>
> More farmers are increasing their soil’s organic matter and improving microbial
> activity by practicing good soil health principles. The top resource concerns in
> Mississippi are: sediment, nutrients, soil erosion and compaction, soil quality,
> water quality, and water supply. Farmers are addressing these concerns by
> practicing diverse crop rotation, planting diverse species and reducing tillage.
>
> “We recognize the growing interest in soil health management,” stated Readus.
> “For this initiative, we hope to see more implementation of conservation practices
> that support soil health.”
>
> Landowners interested in participating in the Soil Health Initiative may apply
> at their local USDA Service Center / NRCS office. NRCS financial-assistance
> programs offer a continuous sign-up; however, applications received by
> March 17, 2017, will be considered for Fiscal year 17 funding in the first ranking period.
>
> To locate the nearest NRCS office: offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
>