Minimize Soil Disturbance

Limiting soil disturbing activities – including physical, chemical and biological disturbances -protects soil structure and function and can enhance the biological component of soil life.

Narrow strips of permanent herbaceous cover established around the hill slope and alternated down the slope with wider cropped strips that are farmed on the contour.

Using ridges and furrows formed by tillage, planting and other farming operations to change the direction of runoff from directly downslope to around the hillslope.

Planting orchards, vineyards, or other perennial crops so that all cultural operations are done on or near the contour.

This practice is also used for: Maximize Living Roots

Establishing permanent vegetation on sites that have, or are expected to have, high erosion rates, and on sites that have physical, chemical or biological conditions that prevent the establishment of vegetation with normal practices.

This practice is also used for: Maximize Living Roots

A strip of permanent vegetation established at the edge or around the perimeter of a field.

A strip or area of herbaceous vegetation that removes contaminants from overland flow.

Establishing adapted and/or compatible species, varieties, or cultivars of herbaceous species suitable for pasture, hay, or biomass production.

This practice is also used for: Maximize Living RootsIntegrate Livestock Where Possible

A shaped or graded channel that is established with suitable vegetation to interrupt and slow the rate of surface water flow.

Dense vegetation (shrubs, small trees) planted in a linear design to add biodiversity and/or achieve other conservation purposes.

This practice is also used for: Energize with Biodiversity

A site-specific combination of pest prevention, pest avoidance, pest monitoring, and pest suppression strategies.

This practice is also used for: Energize with Biodiversity

Use of no-till equipment or other methods (e.g. permanent bed culture) to limit soil disturbing activity when growing crops.

This practice is also used for: Maximize Soil Cover

Managing the amount (rate), source, placement (method of application), and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments.

This practice is also used for: Energize with Biodiversity

Reduction in the depth and frequency of soil disturbing activities used to grow and harvest crops, or for land management.

This practice is also used for: Keep Soil Covered

Establishing or maintaining trees and/or shrubs in an area adjacent to water bodies, as a buffer and wildlife habitat.

This practice is also used for: Energize with Biodiversity

Grasses, sedges, rushes, ferns, legumes, and forbs tolerant of intermittent flooding or saturated soils, established or managed as the dominant vegetation in the transitional zone between upland and aquatic habitats.

Establishing trees and/or shrubs with compatible forages on the same acreage.

This practice is also used for: Maximize Living Roots, Energize with Biodiversity, Keep Soil Covered, Integrate Livestock Where Possible

Growing planned rotations of row crops, forages, small grains, or fallow in a systematic arrangement of equal width strips across a field.

This practice is also used for: Energize with Biodiversity

Windbreaks or shelterbelts are single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs planted in a linear configuration.

HOW do farmers join the Million Acre Challenge?

Filling out a self-assessment survey enrolls farmers in the challenge and gives them access to tools to track their progress toward healthy soils knowledge and management.

Tiers of Regeneration

The Million Acre Challenge welcomes farms of all sizes and production methods to accept the challenge of advancing their land on the spectrum of soil health!


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Soil Health Hubs

Regional Soil Health Hubs are where growers meet with each other to explore practices, strategies, and opportunities to make farmland more profitable and resilient through healthier soil.


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Farmer Stories

We know every farmer, like every farm, is unique. These spotlights feature farmers of all backgrounds across the Chesapeake region – those with different farm sizes, production methods, and farming traditions.


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