the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative has been advocating voluntary technical assistance!
Soil Health Management Systems: Using NRCS Practice Standards
Soil Health Management Systems (SHMS) are a collection of NRCS conservation practices that focus on maintaining or enhancing soil health by addressing the four soil health planning principles: manage more by disturbing the soil less; diversify with crop diversity; grow living roots throughout the year; and keep the soil covered as much as possible. SHMS are cropping system specific and contain practices that are considered “must-do” or are key practices that achieve the greatest impact on soil health by creating a synergistic effect as a system. Conservation Crop Rotation (328) and Cover Crop (340) are examples for cropland. Practices that address resource concerns that may not occur on all fields are considered “as applicable.” Examples include Irrigation Water Management (449) and Filter Strips (390). SHMS also include conservation activities that might not be in an NRCS conservation practice standard but still play a key role in improving soil health. These are known as “best accepted new technology,” and examples include controlled traffic patterns and precision application of nutrients and/or pesticides. This webinar will provide background on using NRCS conservation practice standards to develop cropping system specific SHMS at the state and local level.