The deputy chief for science and technology with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services is a strong believer in the value of partnerships, especially when it comes to improving the health of our nation’s soils.
“When you look at all of the demands, the production, the breadth of the country, the climatic zones, the different types of cropping systems – it’s more than one individual entity, government or private, can do by themselves,” said Dr. Wayne Honeycutt at the first Soil Health Summit held in St. Louis this week by the Soil Health Partnership (SHP).
Honeycutt is one of the members of the SHP’s distinguished scientific advisory board members and he was thrilled to be part of the first summit because he believes that farmers are the leaders in soil health efforts. “Just being able to hear from our farmers on what’s working for them or not working for them and how we can work with them better is just a real critical part of this effort,” he said.
According to Honeycutt, the use of cover crops to improve soil health continues to grow nationwide. “There’s about 10.3 million acres of cover crops right now in the U.S. but when you figure we have around 340-350 million acres of crop land, that tells you we still have a long ways to go,” he said. “But the good news is that in the last two or three years, cover crop adoption rates have increased exponentially.”
In this interview, Honeycutt talks about why soil health is so critical and how improving it can help in so many ways. [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/ncga/ncga-shps15-honeycutt.mp3″ text=”Interview with Wayne Honeycutt, USDA-NRCS”]