Gaining Ground on Soil Health

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, Conservation, NCGA, Soil

shps15-cornell-1Soil health has become a national focus and Cornell University professor of Soil and Water Management Dr. Harold van Es believes it is something that impacts everyone.

“We need to reach a lot of people, it’s not just farmers,” said van Es during the first ever Soil Health Summit in St. Louis this week organized by the Soil Health Partnership (SHP). “Urban soils are very important and a lot our urban soils are very degraded…It’s not only to create a more desirable urban environment but also for people in urban environments to be aware of how important soils are.”

Dr. van Es defines soil health as the capacity of soil to function. “Healthy soil functions well,” he explains. “It allows for good crops to be grown or good trees to be grown in urban environments, it allows for filtration of water, it sustains very important biological functions…and of course, we build our homes on soil.”

Not only is soil health a national focus, it’s gone global this year with the International Year of Soils declared by the United Nations. Dr. van Es encouraged people to get involved in events and promotions being organized by the Soil Science Society of America to celebrate #IYS.

Listen to my interview with Dr. van Es here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Interview with Dr. Harold van Es, Cornell University”]

2015 Soil Health Summit Photo Album