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soil is our common ground

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HEALTHY SOIL is the Foundation of American Resilience






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soil is our common ground

Now is the time to build massive political will
to advance regenerative agriculture
in the 2023 US Farm Bill and beyond.

Check out all we accomplished in 2022!

The Crisis

The majority of U.S. soils are extremely degraded, with topsoil loss occurring at a rate of 5.6 tons per acre/year on agricultural land. Our current agriculture system does not do enough to support soil health, leading to:
The Farmer Livelihood Crisis
Each year, farmer debt increases by 4%, and farmers are consistently counted among the highest suicide rate profession in the U.S. With input costs at record highs, extreme weather events occurring more and more frequently, and consolidation among large agribusinesses leaving them feeling that there are limited options, farmer’ livelihoods are being threatened and rural communities are hollowed out. Degraded soils that lack in structure and essential soil life are exacerbating these issues: requiring greater inputs, lacking resilience, and creating dependencies on agribusiness.
The Resilience Crisis
Due to soil degradation and erosion our lands lack resilience, making them more susceptible to damages and therefore leading to bigger and more frequent catastrophic events. Heavily degraded and rapidly eroding soils are causing worsened flooding, drought, and fires; exacerbating extreme temperatures; depleting our fresh water systems; and threatening the potential collapse of our agriculture and food supply.

Combined with the susceptibility to crop failure and rising costs of inputs, our current agricultural system is costing taxpayers more each year, while contributing to economic rural decline and increased farmer debt.

The Water Scarcity Crisis
Heavily degraded soil can not absorb, retain, or infiltrate water. This means farmland is more susceptible to drought, flooding, and fire. Degraded soil makes farmers more dependent on irrigation while water supplies are scarce. When our soils can’t infiltrate water there is significant runoff, polluting our waterways and carrying precious topsoil with it. Lack of water infiltration also means underground aquifers and springs are not recharged, causing further water scarcity. Degraded soils are leading to a national security threat around water security.
The Food Crisis
The UN estimates that at the current rate of soil depletion we have less than 55 harvests left. Our food supply is not stable when we have soil degradation, desertification, drought, and more catastrophic climate related events. Unhealthy soil will lead to food shortages that threaten food supply and raise food prices.

Depleted and chemically-managed soils also lead to nutrient deficient food and pesticides in our food. In the US, 3 pounds of toxic chemicals are sprayed on our food, per person, every year. Much of today's fruits and vegetables contain 90% fewer nutrients than at the start of this century, while 92% of the US population suffer from vitamin deficiencies leading to a multitude of chronic diseases.

Finally, our food crisis is worsened by an overreliance on commodity-based, industrial food systems that have weakened regional food supply over the past several decades, putting our nation and our most vulnerable communities at risk in recent times of global crisis.

The Biodiversity Crisis
Globally, around 27,000 species are becoming extinct every year due to loss of habitat. The crisis has reached a point where 80% of the insect biomass is gone. North America has lost more than 1 in 4 bird species in the last 50 years alone. Degraded soils lead to biodiversity loss, and loss of biodiversity above and below ground further disrupts the soil habitat and prevents soil regeneration.

The Possibilities

Farmers and ranchers can lead the charge to regenerate our soils, economics, communities, and health. Through the Farm Bill, we can advance the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices.
Improved Farmer Livelihoods

Reduce input costs of 25% for all farmers and ranchers by 2025.

Ensuring support for regenerative agriculture in the Farm Bill will allow American farmers and ranchers to rebuild their soils and reduce spiraling input costs by providing them with the resources they need to prosper now and for generations to come.

Farmers can increase yields/stocking rates: Adoption of regenerative practices enhancing soil biology and fertility lead to increased production/biomass.

Farmers can reduce input costs: Better soil fertility, soil testing, and management decisions lead to reduced input costs and irrigation expenses.

Climate Resilience

Keep 25% of American crop land covered with cover crops and 25% of range land covered with ground cover to rebuild soil and increase resilience to flooding, drought, and fire.

Supporting regenerative agriculture in the next Farm Bill will ensure more farmland in the US is covered with living plants. Covered ground means healthier soil and less soil erosion. We can also reverse desertification by covering our ground on rangelands and using cover crops on all farmland.

Regenerative agriculture also reduces the economic impacts from extreme weather events, minimizing susceptibility to flooding, drought, fire, and other shocks.

Regenerative agriculture can also help address the existential crisis of climate change–and actually help reverse global warming by millions of tons of CO2 into soil and biomass, reducing nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer reductions, increasing cooling through more land covered with living plants, and reducing food waste and methane emissions.

When soil is healthy and living it acts like a sponge. With every 1% increase in soil organic matter, our lands can hold an additional 20,000 gallons of water, which means that they are far more resilient to extreme weather events because they can absorb moisture during floods, and retain moisture during droughts and fires. Increased plant cover also provides more respiration, cooling, and cloud seeding of localized rain. Regenerate America has a long-term target of building 3-6% organic matter for all agricultural soils.

Water Security

Increase water absorption and replenish fresh water systems.

Healthy soil absorbs more water - in fact, a 1% increase of soil organic matter means the soil can hold 25 thousand gallons more water per acre, per year (data from NRCS).

Groundwater recharge of springs and aquifers happens when rainwater is absorbed and infiltrates through the soil profile. When the soil properly infiltrates water, our freshwater sources are replenished, bringing water back to springs and rivers.

Abundant Healthy Food

Improve food security, quality, and access.

Regenerative agriculture is the solution for true, long-term, local, and regional food security and sovereignty.

By restoring our soil through regenerative agriculture, we can ensure more harvests in the future, thereby improving long-term food security. A stable food supply is also less subject to shocks in the global supply chain, thereby guarding against food price fluctuations.

Restoring soil biology also means plants are able to access minerals and nutrients that keep them healthy and strong so they can protect themselves from attacks by pests. This leads to improved food quality, as our food can become more nutrient-dense for everyone and we can reduce chemical inputs.

A regenerative agriculture system also diversifies and strengthens our food system by increasing local and regional food production.

Restored Biodiversity

Restore essential bird and insect populations, as well as soil biology.

Ensuring support for regenerative agriculture in the Farm Bill will mean farms and rangelands/grasslands are net contributors to habitat creation instead of loss, leading to the reintroduction and reappearance of many species.

Converting rangelands to regenerative grazing practices will restore bird populations, create habitats for abundant pollinators, and clean the waters they rely on.

Regenerate America is about empowering farmers to rebuild our soil

Regenerate America is an unprecedented coalition of farmers, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals from every corner of our country and all political stripes. Together, we are elevating the voices of farmers and ranchers demanding that the 2023 US Farm Bill shift resources & support towards regenerative agriculture.

Intended Outcomes

regenerated soils
regenerated economics
regenerated health

Through the widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture, we can bring prosperity to rural communities for this generation and generations to come, while improving food and water security and strengthening our climate resilience. This is the bipartisan issue of our time.

Regenerate America is convened by the national soil health nonprofit organization, Kiss the Ground.

Regenerative Agriculture
is the solution to our
nation's soil crisis.

©2023 Kiss the Ground
a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit