How to revive soil for agriculture

Jul 24, 2013

William Burnidge, left, an ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, is working with rancher Nathan Andrews to test out a different method of grazing.
William Burnidge, left, an ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, is working with rancher Nathan Andrews to test out a different method of grazing.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

The world’s soil is in trouble, even in the fertile Midwest. Some experts warn that if degradation continues unchecked, topsoil could be gone in 60 years—with implications for agriculture and the broader environment. Farmers feel the pressure of feeding a growing global population and protecting the soil necessary to do that—all while operating a viable business.  Harvest Public Media considers two possible ways to improve the soil. The first--planting strips of prairie grass alongside farm fields. Amy Mayer reports. Then, Luke Runyon takes us to eastern Colorado, where researchers are turning to some unexpected partners to revive the soil.