Land Stewardship
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Land Stewardship

Texas Soil and Water Stewardship Week Highlights the Importance of Healthy Soil

The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and Texas Wildlife Association are joining organizations across the state in a campaign to highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas. Soil and Water Stewardship Week is April 24 through May 1, 2022, and the focus this year is “ Healthy Soil, Healthy Life.”

The basis of our lives begins with the soil beneath our feet. Soil provides the food on our plates, the clothes on our backs, the foundation for our homes and offices, the luscious grass that the children play in and the trees we need to breathe. It all starts with soil…healthy soil, healthy life.

Healthy soil gives us life through providing clean air and water, ample crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. Soil does this by providing five essential functions:

  1. Water Management — Soil helps control where rain, snowmelt, and irrigation water goes. Water and dissolved solutes flow over the land or into and through the soil.
  2. Sustaining Plant and Animal Life — The diversity and productivity of living things depends on soil.
  3. Filtering and Buffering Potential Pollutants — The minerals and microbes in soil are responsible for filtering, buffering, degrading, immobilizing, and detoxifying organic and inorganic materials.
  4. Cycling Nutrients — Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and many other nutrients are stored, transformed, and cycled in the soil.
  5. Physical Stability and Support — Soil structure provides a medium for plant roots as well as provides support for human structures and protection for archeological treasures.

Since 1939, the TSSWCB and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) across Texas have been working to encourage the wise and productive use of natural resources. It is our goal to ensure the availability of those resources for future generations so that all Texans’ present and future needs can be met in a manner that promotes a clean, healthy environment and strong economic growth.

Your local SWCD can work with you to develop a conservation plan for your farm, ranch, or forest to improve soil health and provide resources on responsible natural resource management. Conservation plans can be tailored to the needs of each individual landowner including crop rotation, wildlife habitat enhancement, forest management, nutrient management, pest management, irrigation system efficiency and erosion control measures.

As the population of the state continues to increase, maintaining the productivity of our soil and water resources becomes increasingly vital in meeting the food, fiber and resource needs for all Texans. TSSWCB and SWCDs are committed to working with farmers, ranchers, and private landowners to conserve and protect the natural resources of Texas.

Partnering organizations in the “ Healthy Soil, Healthy Life “ campaign include Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas, AgriLife Extension, Association of Rural Communities of Texas, Ducks Unlimited, Farmhouse Vineyards, North Texas Municipal Water District, Plains Cotton Growers, Texan by Nature, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Conservation Association for Soil and Water, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Grain & Feed Association, Texas Poultry Association, Texas Wheat, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas Watershed Steward Program, Upper Trinity Conservation Trust, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Water Grows.

For more information on “ Healthy Soil, Healthy Life”, please visit www.tsswcb.texas.gov.

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The Land Stewardship publication provides landowners, land managers, outdoor and conservation enthusiasts with research and know-how to support land, water and wildlife stewardship.

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Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute

Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute

At the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, our work improves the conservation and management of natural resources through applied research. nri.tamu.edu

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