Soil

Soils provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including regulating carbon through sequestration and providing a structure to support crop plants. Erosion of soil, the primary source for soil particles to leave agricultural fields, may increase in certain areas of the U.S. due to climate change. Some areas of the country will experience less rainfall, causing soils to dry out. Combined with higher winds, this may lead to higher rates of wind erosion. Other areas may experience more intensive rainstorms, which can increase erosion rates by washing out stream banks, for example. Other factors affecting soil erosion that may increase or decrease due to climate change include changing irrigation needs, snowmelt patterns, soil erodibility, conservation practices, and topography.

As farmers confront the challenges of climate change, you may be hearing the term “Climate-Smart Agriculture” brought up more often. Climate-Smart Agriculture has often been endorsed by USDA’s Climate Hubs since their launch in 2014. In 2016, USDA featured Climate-Smart…

Changes in the timing and availability of water resources pose significant challenges to irrigated and dryland agriculture across the Northwest. Warmer winters are shrinking mountain snowpack and melting snow is entering streams and rivers before water is needed for irrigating…

Nutrient leaching is a process by which percolating rainwater carries dissolved nutrients down through the soil profile. Leached nutrients that reach shallow groundwater may then move towards surface water features like drainage ditches and streams. Nitrogen and phosphorus are…

Case Study Background Siembra Tres Vidas is a farm on the southern side of the central mountains of Puerto Rico in the town of Aibonito where Daniella Rodriguez grows a variety of vegetables and lettuce, edible flowers, and aromátic herbs. The farm is situated at 2000 asl on…

Natural and working lands play a vital role in helping California meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045. There is huge potential to store carbon in soils on croplands and rangelands in California using soil amendments. In addition to enhancing soil carbon sequestration,…

Investing in K-12 climate change education can provide valuable returns in the form of both long-term and short-term mitigation. In addition to the influence that education can have on students’ actions as future stakeholders, research shows that children can be effective…

Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by capturing carbon dioxide and storing carbon within soils and forest biomass. Forest management actions are necessary to support maintaining or enhancing the forest carbon sink, which offset about 15 percent of total U.…

Did you know that the USDA Soil Conservation Service (now called the Natural Resources Conservation Service or NRCS) was founded in 1933 during the Dust Bowl to help farmers conserve soil, especially during times of drought? Today, NRCS offers cost sharing for practices that…