‘Spongy’ Soil Can Help Farmers Combat Climate Change | InsideClimate News

“Spongy soil holds more water,” said Andrea Basche, the study’s author and a Kendall Science Fellow in the Union of Concerned Scientists Food and Environment Program. “What we found to be the most effective and consistent way to get more porous soil is keeping roots there.” That certain practices help build soil health—including cover-cropping or “no-till,” in which farmers refrain from plowing soil—has long been understood in agriculture. But in the American Midwest, where corn and soybeans are the most widely grown crops, few farmers have embraced these practices. As little as 2 percent of growers in the Mississippi River basin plant cover crops, despite evidence suggesting they not only boost yields but also make soil more resilient to increasingly volatile weather.


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