CDFA Secretary Karen Ross invites you to join our celebration of Healthy Soils Week and the amazing benefits our soil provides for Californians! This annual celebration aligns with UN World Soils Day and includes a week-long calendar of events from December 6-10 hosted by CDFA as well as state, federal, and private sector partners.
California soils help feed the world, clean the air, and fight climate change among myriad ecosystem services. This year, our events focus on the valuable role our soils play in improving water filtration, water quality, and resilience to drought. Healthy soils hold 20 times their weight in water. Increasing soil organic matter on California’s working lands by just 1% could save 1.5 million acre-feet of water per year – that’s approximately the volume of Lake Berryessa!
Secretary Ross explains: “This year’s Healthy Soils Week theme – Solutions from the Soil: Improving California’s Drought Resilience – highlights why it is more important than ever to invest in our soil. Farmers and ranchers are stewards of our soil and are key to solutions to address climate change and achieve carbon neutrality. Implementing healthy soil management provides many co-benefits beyond the crops they harvest and the food on our tables! That’s something we can all appreciate.”
Healthy soil management practices are part of a suite of climate smart agriculture practices and programs developed by CDFA over the past decade. These programs, housed primarily in CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation, include the Healthy Soils Program, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program, and the Alternative Manure Management Program. Thanks to additional investment in this year’s budget, these programs will be supported by new or expanded programs to help farmers and ranchers with conservation planning and creating pollinator habitat.