Spongy Soils to the Rescue!

In a publication by the Union of Concerned Scientists, many papers were reviewed to come up with recommendations for  improving water retention, reducing the need for irrigation, slowing runoff, and improving soil fertility.

Continuous living Cover Crops in between commodity crops and no-till agriculture were among several methods to achieve these improvements.

The ‘Executive Summary’ linked from this page is a concise roundup of the UCS findings in this area:

Here’s a quote:

Between 2011 and 2016, flood- and drought-related
claims to the subsidized federal crop insurance program resulted in $38.5 billion
in payouts, approximately two-thirds of the total paid by the program. Such claims
could double as a result of climate change, costing taxpayers an additional $4 billion
to $9 billion annually by 2080.


We ask a lot from our soil.  It’s great to see that a small shift in practice can not only improve soil health and productivity, bur reduce the negative impacts of drought and flooding.