Celebrate Healthy Soils Week
December 5 – December 9, 2022
Follow us on social media: #HealthySoilsWeek2022.
Join the California Department of Food and Agriculture and our many partners in highlighting soil health! Dates will be added soon to see activities and events scheduled for each day. We will be updating and adding to the Healthy Soils Week calendar over the next few weeks, so bookmark this page and check back often.
Why Healthy Soils?
Healthy soil is quite literally the foundation of sustainable food, water, air and biodiversity. Restoring and preserving healthy soil results in:
- Improved plant health and yields
- Increased water infiltration and retention
- Sequestered carbon and reduced greenhouse gases (GHGs)
- Reduced sediment erosion and dust
- Improved water and air quality
- Improved biological diversity and wildlife habitat
Calendar of Events
Video: CDFA Secretary Karen Ross launches California Healthy Soils Week 2022
Secretary Karen Ross launches Healthy Soils Week 2022 with this video about the many benefits of improving the health and resilience of our soils.
Webinar: Building Belowground Biodiversity
Webinar with CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and members of the Belowground Biodiversity Advisory Committee (BBAC). The committee is made up of world-renowned scientists. To better understand how soil biodiversity may impact soil health, The committee is charged to prepare a report with their recommendations on biodiversity indicators as a proxy of soil health and ecosystem functions. This webinar will discuss the importance and impact of belowground biodiversity on soil health and presenters will also share some of the work they have completed.
Facebook LIVE with the UC Master Gardener Program - Healthy Soil: In Nature Sometime Less Is More
Join the UC Master Gardener Program LIVE on Facebook as we celebrate Healthy Soils Week. Understanding the nature and composition of soil is the first step in our understanding of how to achieve sustainable, healthy soil in our gardens. Speaker: Mike Corby, UC Master Gardener Volunteer Contra Costa County.No registration required.
NRCS Webinar: Web Soil Survey Presentation
Hosted by California NRCS, the Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties. Moderated and presented by Phil Smith, California NRCS Area Resource Soil Scientist, and Tony Rolfes, California State Soil Scientist. This is a presentation on WSS and other Soil Web Tools for gathering soils information and maps.
Facebook LIVE with the UC Master Gardener Program - Harnessing the Magic of the Soil Food Web: Turning Dirt into Gold
Speaker: Kit Veerkamp, UC Master Gardener Volunteer in El Dorado County.No registration required.
Legislators and CDFA Staff to Tour Healthy Soils Demonstration sites.
Healthy Soils Program Demonstration Field Day in Salinas
Demonstrations with the University of California Cooperative Extension, California State University, Monterey Bay, and the resource conservation districts of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, Central Coast Water Board. Morning and afternoon sessions will be available.
Community Alliance with Family Farmers and Wild Farm Alliance – Field day at Double A Walnuts in Colusa, CA
Field day to discuss cover cropping, hedgerows, and practices for improved orchard management. Benefits and challenges of cover cropping and hedgerows; implementing nematode-resistant root systems and improved irrigation systems; demonstrations of inoculating and broadcast planting of cover crop seed; demonstration of a small mower that is great for managing weeds in the strips of tree rows. We will also share resources for farmers to support the implementation of such practices.
Additional Healthy Soils Resources
NRCS Videos: a "Soil Tunnel," an in-field soil health assessment, and a rainfall simulation all bring home the importance of what goes on below the soil surface.
- A Walk Through the Soil Tunnel (5:06 min.) The Soil Tunnel is an educational tool designed to teach and promote the importance of soils and soil health. It illustrates through the use of images, the important functions of the soil. Through this interactive soil exhibit, audience of all ages can view the world below the ground by walking through the Tunnel.
- NRCS Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment Overview, Part 1 (17:58 min.) The Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment is designed to be used as a diagnostic tool to help conservation planners determine if soil health resource concerns exist.
- NRCS Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment Overview, Part 2 (16:35 min.) (see above for description)
- NRCS Rainfall Simulator Demo (10:29 min.) The Rainfall Simulator provides a demonstration of how practices such as no-till farming, cover crops, and prescribed grazing benefit soil health and improve the water cycle on cropland and rangeland. Presented by Dr. Zahangir Kabir, NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist.
- NRCS-RCPP announces funding is available for San Joaquin Valley farmers to implement 14 conservation practices that save water and build healthy soils. American Farmland Trust has information about what’s covered, and where to get more help in multiple languages.
American Farmland Trust is documenting economic and environmental benefits of soil health practices with farmer profiles, case studies, webinars, and on-farm soil analysis trials with almonds, mixed crops, wine grapes, and wheat.
American Farmland Trust’s farmer profiles document how vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties boosted their bottom line by thousands, increased their biodiversity significantly, and reduced their water usage by approximately 40 percent with various soil health
Healthy Soils Videos
CDFA's Healthy Soils Program, launched in 2017, stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments promoting the development of healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands.
CDFA's Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) funds and facilitates research to advance the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use and handling of fertilizing materials.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water, air, plants, and other natural resources since 1935. For more information about NRCS in California, please visit www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.
The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth throughout California about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.
CalRecycle's mission is to protect the environment and preserve natural resources by promoting and supporting the highest levels of waste reduction, recycling, and reuse.
The Department of Water Resources manages California's water resources, systems, and infrastructure, including the State Water Project (SWP), in a responsible, sustainable way.
The COMPOST-CARBON-CLIMATE Connection
Enlarge or print this infographic explaining the connection between compost, carbon and the climate.
COMPOST for Healthy Soil
Enlarge or print this infographic explaining why compost for healthy soil.