Source – Cargill
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Cargill are joining forces to promote water stewardship in agricultural supply chains, with the aim of advancing the implementation of regenerative agriculture practices. This three-year, $3 million partnership will provide innovative tools to farmers, conservation planners, and sustainability experts across North America. These tools are designed to enhance drought resilience, improve soil health, and promote sustainable water usage.
Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of SHI, emphasized how climate change-induced extreme weather events have increased operational risks for farmers and the broader agriculture sector. Through this partnership, they intend to accelerate the adoption of regenerative systems by offering practical insights for assessing improvements in water storage resulting from changes in on-farm practices.
Recent research by SHI has shown that implementing soil health practices can significantly increase available water holding capacity (AWHC), leading to twice as much water storage in the topsoil compared to previous estimates. This discovery, currently presented as a set of mathematical equations, provides a solid framework for measuring the impact of soil health management on water storage. The partnership aims to make this data more accessible, allowing farmers to estimate the additional inches of water their soil can retain during the growing season due to improved soil health.
Ashley McKeon, Director of Regenerative Agriculture at Cargill, affirmed their strong belief in the role of regenerative agricultural practices in mitigating the impacts of climate change and water stress on agricultural systems. Cargill is committed to advancing regenerative agriculture on 10 million acres of agricultural land in North America by 2030. Building on their partnership with the Soil Health Institute over the past five years, they aim to empower farmers and stakeholders throughout the agricultural value chain with the necessary tools for informed decision-making, contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future.
This partnership between SHI and Cargill will enable various stakeholders, including farmers, businesses, researchers, governments, and sustainability experts, to assess their progress toward water stewardship goals and promote industry alignment around the importance of soil health in enhancing drought resilience and sustainable water management. Both partners are dedicated to ensuring that project tools and resources are accessible to all, promoting widespread adoption and benefits.
Additionally, this collaboration aligns with Cargill’s global sustainability priorities, including their commitment to advancing regenerative agriculture on 10 million acres of agricultural land in North America by 2030.