Eagle County Conservation District awarded new soil health program | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Conservation District awarded new soil health program

As a framework for Colorado’s soil health program, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has introduced Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources, or S.T.A.R., to address local resource concerns based around soil health.

The Eagle County Conservation District is one of 17 Colorado conservation districts selected to participate in the program.

S.T.A.R. is a field-by-field evaluation tool driven by the latest science and farmer expertise. It follows the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s five principles of soil health promoting soil armor, plant diversity, continual live plant/root, livestock integration and minimization of soil disturbance. The S.T.A.R. tool shows that when focusing on building healthy soil, farmers and ranchers are taking the steps needed to make their land more resilient, efficient, and ultimately, more profitable.

No one knows better than farm and ranch operators how important it is to conserve nutrient-rich soils and clean water sources. The Eagle County Conservation District said the new program is a great tool to work and interact with producers and local landowners to guide operations, improvements and conversations about soil health. In the future, S.T.A.R. could become a market signal and unlock new opportunities and revenue streams for Colorado farmers and ranchers. In Eagle County, where the land is predominantly grass and rangelands, healthy soils are critical for our climate and storing carbon.

The Eagle County Conservation District is currently seeking farmers and ranchers within the district to participate in the S.T.A.R. program. Producers can earn up to $75 per acre through incentive payments and begin participation in the spring of 2022. For more information, or to participate, email EagleCountyCD@gmail.com or go to EagleCountyCD.com/projects.

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