Safeguarding Soil

A Smart Way to Protect Farmers, Taxpayers, and the Future of Our Food

Published Nov 22, 2019

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Cover for Safeguarding Soil policy brief from the Union of Concerned Scientists

Soil is at the foundation of our food system and is vital for our future.

Healthy, living soil promotes healthy crops, holds water, prevents pollution, stores carbon, and helps ensure that farmers and their communities can thrive.

Yet decades of short-sighted farm policies have incentivized practices—such as growing just one or two crops instead of more diverse rotations, and leaving soil bare after harvests—that have depleted and damaged this foundation. As a result, estimates have suggested that US farms lose more than 3 trillion pounds of soil to erosion each year.

To rebuild this critical life-support system, we need science-based public policies that invest in farmers and soil.

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Citation

Stillerman, Karen Perry, and Marcia DeLonge. 2019. Safeguarding Soil: A Smart Way to Protect Farmers, Taxpayers, and the Future of Our Food. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/safeguarding-soil