That added variety creates a richer, more diverse population of microorganisms within the soil. This healthy soil can then deliver the nutrients, water cycling, and pest resistance that growers need on their farms. Like low-tillage systems and cover cropping, it’ll also help reduce input costs and increase profitability. While growers may be unwilling or unable to add a new crop to their rotation, cover cropping can be a great way to add diversity and bolster resiliency of a cropping system
Together the three practices discussed above (limited tillage, cover cropping, and diversification) can help growers apply the NRCS’s four principles to create healthier soil in their fields and protect the long-term sustainability of their croplands. At the same time, growers earn more by saving money on inputs—fuel, fertilizer, herbicide, labor, and time—while also benefiting from the advantages provided by high-performing and productive healthy soil.